Work kicks off on one of the largest decommissioning projects in North Sea, supporting 500 jobs

Work has started on one of the largest decommissioning projects in the North Sea, involving more than 500 people.

The Brae Bravo platform, first commissioned in 1988, is being removed over three separate phases in 2021 and 2022, using two of the world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessels – each greater than 200 metres in length.

Donald Taylor, managing director for Europe at Abu Dhabi’s Taqa, said: “Taqa Europe is embarking on one of the largest decommissioning exercises in the North Sea to date.

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“The Brae Bravo has been an integral part of the Brae fields for more than three decades with the size and scale of the platform, including the topside structure, almost the height of the London Eye.

The project is using two of the world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessels, marking the first time that these vessels have converged in the North Sea. Picture: Coen de Jong

“The arrival of [vessel] Thialf in the field was a historic occasion, heralding the moment when we started converting many years of planning into practical implementation.

“Over the last 33 years, Brae Bravo has been an important contributor to the UK oil and gas industry with many people having long-standing connections to the platform.

“This project will involve more than 500 people working offshore on the programme during peak decommissioning operations, and we are committed to delivering safe and efficient execution of this milestone.”

The first campaign, which began in April, saw the two vessels simultaneously in the field for several days to prepare and ultimately remove the flare tower, bridge and jacket.

A dedicated navigational aid will be placed on the remaining structure and a 500-metre safety zone will remain in place until jacket decommissioning is completed in 2022.

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