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Brent Spar awaiting decommissioning.
Oil Rig Photos
No: 88   Contributor: Garve Scott-Lodge   Companies: Shell   Year: 1996   Countries: Norway, United Kingdom
Brent Spar awaiting decommissioning.

Brent Spar or Brent E, was an oil storage and tanker loading buoy in the Brent oilfield, operated by Shell UK. With the completion of a pipeline connection to the oil terminal at Sullom Voe in Shetland, the storage facility had continued in use but was considered to be of no further value as of 1991. Brent Spar became an issue of public concern in 1995, when the British government announced its support for Shell’s application for disposal in deep Atlantic waters (approximately 250 km from the west coast of Scotland, at a depth of around 2.5 km).

Greenpeace organised a worldwide, high-profile media campaign against this plan, including calls for boycotts of Shell service stations. Its activists occupied the Brent Spar for more than three weeks. In the face of public and political opposition in northern Europe (including some physical attacks and an arson attack on a service station in Germany), Shell abandoned its plans to dispose of Brent Spar at sea - whilst continuing to stand by its claim that this was the safest option, both from an environmental and an industrial health and safety perspective. Greenpeace’s own reputation also suffered during the campaign, when it had to acknowledge that sampling errors had led to a substantial over-estimate of the oil remaining in Brent Spar’s storage tanks.

Following Shell’s decision to pursue only on-shore disposal options - as favoured by Greenpeace and its supporters - Brent Spar was given temporary moorings in a Norwegian fjord. In January 1998 Shell announced its decision to re-use much of the main steel structure in the construction of a new harbour facilities near Stavanger.
Picture added on 01 November 2006
add commentComments:
I worked for Asco on the Spar from April 1978-March 1979. The Esso Aberdeen and the Warwickshire along with the Shell Drupa were the tankers that I remember we filled. Does anybody know which other tankers moored during that time and if there are any pics from around then?

Added by John Byron on 04 October 2007.
I was involved in water jetting and cleaning of the spar for decomissioning at vats quay in Norway for Denholm in 1998, job was a nightmare but the crack was excellent.

Added by Brian Ritchie (Boss) on 07 May 2010.
My father was one of the original engineers to work on the commissioning. Unfortunately, he and two colleagues died on the platform. Would love to see any other pictures, or hear any other stories.

Added by Scott Arnott on 06 January 2011.
I was a crew member (able seaman) on the Esso Warwickshire in December 76 when she loaded her first cargo from the spar.

Added by P Cooke on 16 January 2011.
I worked on the Spar in the 80s for a company called O.C.S.I was medivaced off with Glandular fever to the Vildkat and the Chef on the Vildkat at the time was Yain Jones. Leaving behind at the time my spare Clothes (it was that Quick ) I trust someone gave my blue cords a good home. I seem to remember on of the B.E.A.s Pilots having a massive photocollection.

Added by Stephen Reed on 23 February 2011.
Blue cords?

Was the 80's, mind

Added by Rob on 06 March 2011.
I worked on the Spar in the late 70s & 80s I was working on the alpha and some times we would be sent over to repair some loading pumps, It was very strange because when you went inside the Spar to work and then came out a few hr's later you was looking at a different platform this was due to the thing turning round when a tanker was attached. Such a weird feeling. The company that I was working for was W S C on the alpha platform.

Added by John Stone on 26 July 2012.
I worked on the Spar in 1977 for ASCO. It was a week on week off job. One task that I had to perform regularly, was to remove rotten, trapped fish at the waterline of diving shaft. The last time I was down there, I could smell H2S which I reported to the OIM. My colleague and I were informed that "it's only diving gases" On my return following my week off, I learned that the OIM, a Shell engineer (names I forget) and a 19 year old roustabout named Paul Baron, had died as a result of H2S poisoning. Did Shell cover this up as I have never ever been able to find one snippet on the web. Maybe a reader could corroborate this tragedy.

Added by Colin Beresford on 13 December 2012.
I worked on the SPAR off and on 79-81 from the Alpha, fixing leaks. Remember excellent night shift chef, cola machine and only lathe in Brent field.

Added by Stewart Parry on 20 December 2012.
On esso aberdeen 78 fresh from bow manifold being fitted in singers .also on esso Warwickshire in 81 both trips regular runs from Brent spar to m haven and Cawley.

Added by on 10 September 2014.
John Stone commented that the Spar turned when a tanker was attached. In reality, the Spar was kept in place by 6 x 1K tonne blocks attached to chains and in turn the Spar. The skippers of the tankers revolved around the Spar according to the tide and current to keep the loading boom aligned with the bow of the ship to prevent separation.

Added by Colin Beresford on 05 December 2014.
Landed on there to take the some of the Green Peace guys off. Landed in Sumburgh to sound of the already present offshore guys singing 'Free the whale, free the whale, ffffffrrrrreeee the whale.

Added by Brian Wyllie on 05 July 2015.
My guys were first on the Spar after the Greenpeace lot were removed from it, to remove the loading oil arm boom from the spar - the activists left a right mess of nets and rubbish all over the place and had enough big tins of beans to last them for months....

Added by Scott Glatley on 06 December 2015.
Remember working in the Brent a when green peace scaled the spar built a scaffold on the heli deck mushi was the Iom on the Brent alpha great entertain ment value mushi was a wretch of a man all the bears got t shirts made up to annoy mushi with green peace on one arm and a pic of the spar good laugh
Especially when going home everyone wore there t shirts this went on weeks while we were staying on the borglin dolphin

Added by Tom mullin on 03 June 2016.
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