How Shell Plans to Decommission the Brent Oil Field – With Help from Pioneering Spirit

The Pioneering Spirit undergoing final outfitting in Rotterdam. Photo: Allseas
The Pioneering Spirit (previously Pieter Schelte) undergoing final outfitting in Rotterdam. Photo: Allseas

Later this year Shell will begin removing the topside of the Brent Delta platform as part of the decommissioning of the Brent oil and gas field in the UK North Sea.

Removing the topside is one of the main components of the decommissioning process, and will involve lifting of the 24,200 topside in a single lift – the heaviest lift ever to be carried out at sea – using the new Pioneering Spirit. The single lift technique market a major departure from traditional decommissioning methods, where topsides are usually taken apart piece by piece.

Here’s a closer look at how the lift will be executed, along with rest of the decommissioning work: