TAQA Decommissions Brae Bravo Topsides

The Heerema semisubmersible crane vessels Thialf and Sleipnir were used on the job to remove the 36,000-ton structure.

A navigational aid has been installed on the jacket of the Brae Bravo platform in the North Sea. It is due to be decommissioned in 2022.
Credit: TAQA.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) successfully completed the topsides decommissioning of the Brae Bravo platform in the North Sea. The 36,000-ton structure was removed using two of the world’s largest semisubmersible crane vessels—the Heerema-owned Thialf and Sleipnir. At its peak, up to 500 people worked on the project, totaling nearly 400,000 man-hours without recording any major incidents.

The Thialf prepared the platform for removal and removed the cranes and helideck. During these activities, Sleipnir simultaneously completed the removal of the Brae Bravo flare tower, bridge, and jacket, marking the first time these two semisubmersible crane vessels converged in the North Sea. Later, the Sleipnir returned to remove the remaining modules and transport them to shore.

The topsides have been sent to the AFOD Environmental Base in Vats, Norway, and is now being processed with the aim of reusing or recycling 95% or more of the material.

“The Brae Bravo decommissioning project is a landmark moment for both TAQA and the North Sea offshore industry,” said Donald Taylor, TAQA managing director for Europe. “The scale of this engineering feat cannot be overstated. Decommissioning and late-life management of offshore assets will play a major role in our journey to a lower carbon future, and Brae Bravo will be the blueprint for all future TAQA decommissioning programs in the North Sea.”

Over its 33-year lifetime, Brae Bravo produced more than 500 million BOE.

The only remaining visible element of Brae Bravo is the top of the jacket above the sea surface. A dedicated navigational aid has been installed on the remaining structure and a 500-m safety zone will remain in place until the jacket is decommissioned in 2022.