25,000 oil platform due to arrive at Hartlepool's Able Seaton port today

A huge oil platform is due to arrive in Hartlepool today as part of a multi-million pound project.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 18:03 pm

Allseas’ record-breaking heavy lift and pipelay vessel Pioneering Spirit has safely completed the single-piece removal of the 25,000 tonne Brent Bravo topsides from the North Sea.

Completed early Tuesday morning, the operation took around 4 hours, from positioning the vessel around the platform to the moment of the lift. The actual “fast lift” of the topsides took only NINE seconds.

The 25,000 tonne Brent Bravo platform.

Following its arrival off the North East coast, the platform, which stands 410ft tall and 230ft wide, will be transferred to the Allseas cargo barge “Iron Lady” for the final leg of its journey, to Able Seaton port where it will be dismantled and decommissioned.

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The arrival at Able Seaton Port is expected to take place this afternoon.

Brent Bravo is the second of four platforms, after Brent Delta in 2017, to be decommissioned and removed from the Brent oil and gas field.

On both occasions Shell UK utilised Pioneering Spirit’s revolutionary single lift, motion-compensated technology.

The Brent Bravo topside on the Allseas Pioneering Spirit.

Today’s lift successfully concludes two years of planning and offshore engineering works, and further reinforces the vessel’s reputation as an industry game-changer.

Located 186 km off the northeast coast of the Shetland Islands, the Brent Bravo platform comprised a topsides structure supported by three 12m diameter steel-reinforced concrete legs, which stand in 140m of water.

Cuts between the topsides and supporting legs were made during the final months of platform preparations. Until the lift, the structure was held in place by purpose-built shear restraints that prevented lateral movement.

The concrete legs remain in situ, capped with concrete covers fitted by one of the vessel’s cranes. A solar-powered navigational aid has also been installed on top of one of the capped legs.

The Brent Bravo being loaded onto the Allseas Pioneering Spirit.

The 125m-tall, 70m wide topsides have since been sea-fastened on board Pioneering Spirit for transport to the Able UK decommissioning yard.

At a nearshore location off the coast of Hartlepool, the topsides will be transferred to Allseas’ cargo barge Iron Lady for the final leg of its journey, towage up the Seaton Channel and load-in to the quay at Able UK’s yard for dismantling.