#536 – Brent Bravo and the Industrial Landscape of Teesside


Last year, I visited Teesside to see the Brent Delta oil rig at Able UK’s yard in Seaton Carew near Hartlepool. I wrote last time about the surreal landscape of the Tees, and how incongruous it is to see an oil rig. Actually, it blends in quite well, but it is still a massive lump that can be seen from some distance away.

Although I did have my drone on me, having visited the steelworks at Redcar earlier, the area is a no fly zone due to the nuclear power station directly behind Able UK’s yard where the demolition is taking place. Trespassing is one thing, breaching no fly zones near sensitive installations is another matter entirely, and the consequences far more severe., so I stuck to using my Nikon!


Brent Delta has been reduced to a big pile of scrap which lies adjacent to Brent Bravo.

The rig had arrived only a few weeks before and unlike Brent Delta when I saw it, the rig was completely intact. I suspect that it is currently being surveyed and the internal fixtures and fittings are being stripped.

Brent Bravo was the first in the Brent field and was in place in 1975. It is a big piece of engineering – 25000 tons, 410 feet high and 230 feet wide – and was lifted from its position by the enormous Pioneering Spirit vessel, a video of which can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=59&v=SX-7gjs3FNg

It was then brought to an offshore location near Hartlepool and transferred to a barge for the final leg of the trip up the Tees to Seaton Carew.




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