The first of four platforms in the Brent field was lifted from its concrete supporting legs in a single 12-hour heavy lift by a purpose-built twin hulled vessel.
The 24,000 tonne Brent Delta platform topside has been sailed to Teesside’s Able Seaton Port yard where it will be dismantled and recycled.
Owner Able UK has invested £28m in building Europe’s strongest quayside where the 44m high topside will be dumped to allow a 50-strong team cut it down for scrap.
After four years of planning the successfull operation 115 miles north east of Shetland by the Dutch vessel Pioneering Spirit is a game-changer for North Sea decommissioning.
The removal of Brent Delta begins a new era of decommissioning in the North Sea with around 470 installations due to be decommissioned in the UK sector over the next 30 to 40 years.
In the wider North Sea, industry experts expect to see around 600 installations decommissioned.