LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell will start dismantling its nearly 40-year-old Brent Delta platform in the North Sea in 2017, a senior manager said, delaying the process by around one year.
Brent Delta, as tall as the Eiffel Tower, is the first of four Brent platforms to be decommissioned and one of the first large-scale projects to dismantle a depleted North Sea oil field.
The start of the complex work, which has been planned for 10 years, has been delayed to next year after it took longer than expected to equip the specialist vessel which will transport the 25,000-tonne topside of the platform to Hartlepool harbour where it will be taken apart.
The exact time for work to start is difficult to predict because Shell’s decommissioning plan still requires various approvals, said Duncan Manning, business opportunity manager for Shell’s Brent decommissioning project.
His team aims to submit a detailed decommissioning plan to Britain’s energy ministry by the end of the year. A 60-day consultation will then collect feedback from the public which the ministry will forward to the OSPAR Commission, which groups 15 governments in protecting the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic.
Britain’s industry group Oil and Gas UK estimates dismantling its oil and gas fields could cost around 17 billion pounds ($23 billion) between 2015 and 2024. ($1 = 0.7528 pounds) (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)
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