Marathon Oil has been producing oil and natural gas in the United Kingdom for more than 30 years.
The Brae Area comprises three offshore platforms – Brae Alpha, Brae Bravo and East Brae and the Brae-Forties pipeline. Marathon is the operator of the platforms and pipeline and has equity interests in the South Brae, Central Brae, West Brae, North Brae, Beinn, East Brae and Braemar fields. The platforms stand in approximately 110m of water and are interlinked by the field power generation system. The Brae Alpha platform and facilities act as host for the underlying South Brae field, as well as the adjacent Central Brae and West Brae fields. The Brae Alpha platform also provides processing services for the third party operated Trees and Enoch fields.
The Brae Bravo platform and facilities act as host for the underlying North Brae and Beinn fields and in addition provides processing services for the third party operated Kingfisher field. The East Brae Bravo platform and facilities act as host for the underlying East Brae field and in addition provides processing services for the Braemar and Devenick fields. The Brae Area liquids, along with that of over thirty third party fields, are exported via the Marathon operated Brae-Forties pipeline to the BP operated Forties Pipeline System and then onwards to Kinneill for further processing.
The Brae area lies approximately 170 miles (274 km) north-east of Aberdeen within three principal UK Blocks: 16/7a, 16/3a and 16/3b. Equity partners include TAQA, Centrica Resources Limited, and JX Nippon Exploration and Production (U.K.). Brae Alpha started production in 1983, Brae Bravo in 1988 and East Brae in 1993. The Central and West Brae/Sedgwick subsea tiebacks to Brae Alpha commenced production in 1989 and 1997, respectively. The Braemar subsea tieback to East Brae commenced production in 2003.
On December 26 last year, Brae Alpha was shutdown following a gas leak. It remains shutdown. On March 18 HSE documents revealed the gas leak had been categorised as “major”. On March 29 The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the gas leak had exposed workers to an “unacceptable risk of serious personal injury from fire and explosion”. It was also found in the notice that there had been a failure to remove insulation of pipework for inspection purpose “since its commissioning in 1983”. The HSE had already hit Marathon with an improvement notice following a leak on the platform last June.