Spectacular sight on Hartlepool skyline as 17,000 tonne Brent Alpha oil rig sails into town on huge vessel

The transportation of a huge oil rig platform off the Hartlepool coast has made for an impressive sight on the horizon.

Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 11:27 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 11:28 am

The 17,000 tonne Brent Alpha topside platform onboard the massive Pioneering Spirit vessel sailed into view on Tuesday evening (June 23) as it makes its way down the coast to Able UK for recycling.

Offshore contractor Allseas successfully completed the removal of the Alpha platform from Shell’s Brent Field situated 116 miles off the coast of Lerwick, Shetland, midway between the Shetland Isles and the coast of Norway.

Years of planning culminated in the nine-second ‘fast lift’ of the Alpha's topsides onto the Pioneering Spirit – which is the length of five jumbo jets – on Sunday evening.

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The 17,000 tonne Brent Alpha platform onboard the Pioneering Spirit.

The 44-year-old structure, which stopped production in 2014, is being delivered to Able UK Limited’s Teesside decommissioning yard for dismantling and recycling.

It features multiple decks with living quarters, power generation, process systems, flare stack and other platform facilities.

The Brent Alpha is being transferred to Allseas’ cargo barge Iron Lady for the final leg of its journey up the Seaton Channel before its expected arrival at Able's quay on Wednesday afternoon.

The Alpha is the third of four platforms, after Brent Delta in 2017 and Brent Bravo last year, to be decommissioned on Teesside.

The Allseas Pioneering Spirit prior to lifting the Brent Alpha platform.

Its arrival will be much more low key compared to last year’s arrival of the Brent Bravo oil platform due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.

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A message from the Editor:

Mail reader Donald Lang sent this photo of the Brent Alpha on the Pioneering Spirit seen off Hartlepool on Monday evening.

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