After many years of service to the UK, the Brent field is reaching the stage
where almost all the available reserves of oil and gas have been retrieved.
The next step in the lifecycle is to retire or ‘decommission’ the Brent
field’s four platforms and their related infrastructure. This will be a
complex, major engineering project and will take over ten years to complete.
It follows the decommissioning of other operators’ platforms in the North
Sea with programmes submitted to the government’s Department for Business,
Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) so far. This is the body that
regulates the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas installations and
pipelines in the UK. Shell is now carefully planning the Brent field’s
decommissioning process following a tightly defined regulatory process. Our
task is to find a way to carry out this work that will:
* ensure the safety of people working on the project
* have minimal impact on the environment
* be technically achievable
* consider the impact on affected communities, and
* be economically responsible.