The largest ever oil rig demolition project will be heading to Hartlepool next month.
Able UK has created Europe’s strongest quayside in Hartlepool to take delivery of the 24,200 tonne Delta oil rig topside when it is recovered from the North Sea.
Once lifted onto one of the world’s largest ships, Pioneering Spirit, the vessel - which is the length of six jumbo jets - will make its way to Hartlepool.
The Delta topside, from Shell’s Brent field in the North Sea, will be the heaviest single structure lifted in the history of the oil and gas industry.
And, it will be handled by workers at the Hartlepool yard, where 100 jobs were created in building the quayside.
Once at Able UK’s Seaton Port site in the town, work will begin on dismantling the enormouse structure and more than 97% of the material from it will be reused or recycled, creating another 100 jobs for this process.
More than 100 rigs are due to be decommissioned in UK and Norwegian waters over the next 10 years at a cost of billions to oil companies and taxpayers.
Although the dismantling of the Delta rig is not the first in the UK, it is believed to be the biggest.
Philip Robinson, a spokesman for Shell, said: “The Brent Delta topside, which weighs 24,200 tonnes and contains equipment for drilling, producing and processing oil and gas, as well as the accommodation block and helipad will be removed as one piece by the world’s biggest vessel.”
Bosses at Able say they will be using the latest techniques and technologies available for the recycling to achieve the highest possible environmenal standards.