Brae icopInternational

Brae Area Infrastructure Code of Practice (Oil and Gas UK ICOP) 


The technical and commercial information is presented here in line with the principles and procedures of the Oil and Gas UK: Code of Practice on Access to Upstream Oil and Gas Infrastructure (ICOP), in order to facilitate prospective third party access to the Brae Area Infrastructure.


Strategically positioned at the hub of activities in the Central North Sea, the Brae Area Infrastructure has grown both in size and importance over the past 30 years and is now one of the most successful hubs supporting cost effective offshore developments in the region. Over 30 third parties currently rely on the Brae Area for transporting and processing facilities.


The Brae Area's success in attracting and assisting the development of marginal prospects in the area is founded on the system's ability to provide a range of comprehensive and flexible services, coupled with clear cost advantages over standalone developments.


With proven consistency, plus the flexibility to conduct enhancements to the Brae platforms, the Brae Group offers attractive and cost effective benefits to third-party operators. The strategic focus on developing third party business has resulted in an enviable track record for achieving offshore tie-in programs on schedule and within competitive budgets. Marathon Oil and the Brae Group intend to maximize the use of this strategic hub well into the long-term future.


Marathon Oil has commenced planning for the decommissioning of the Brae area in the UK sector of the Central North Sea.

The Brae areas lie approximately 170 miles (274 km) north-east of Aberdeen within three UK Blocks: 16/7a, 16/3a and 16/3b. Marathon Oil U.K. LLC is the operator and equity partners are TAQA Bratani Limited, TAQA Bratani LNS Limited, Centrica Resources Limited, and JX Nippon Exploration and Production (U.K.) Limited.

Marathon Oil has  proven versatility in handling a wide range of fields in the Brae Area, in both liquids and gas condensate, offering third parties three main services:

  • Liquids transportation via the Brae-Forties Pipeline System into the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) to onshore (Liquids).
  • Gas transportation and processing via SAGE (Gas).
  • Platform services to ensure the specifications are met for either of the above transportation systems (Platforms).
  • The Brae Area Infrastructure comprises three offshore platforms — Brae Alpha, Brae Bravo and East Brae — connected by an intra-field pipeline network.

Liquid production from the operated fields and third-party liquids are transported via the Brae-Forties pipeline originating from Brae Alpha and onward via the Forties Pipeline System to Kinneil. Over two-thirds of the Brae-Forties Pipeline System throughput is from third-party business. Gas production from operated fields and third parties is fed into the SAGE pipeline via the Brae gas pipeline and on to the St. Fergus terminal for processing.


The Brae Group owns the Brae-Forties Pipeline System which feeds into the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) at Forties Charlie.

FPS is a 100 percent BP-owned integrated oil and gas liquid transportation and processing system with a nominal capacity of 1,150,000 barrels per day serving the central area of the North Sea. It transports crude oil and gas liquids from offshore entry points, processes the liquids at Kinneil and redelivers Forties Blend crude oil at Hound Point and either raw gas or fractionated gas products at Grangemouth.


Continual management of the quality and specification of the user field pipeline liquids are maintained to ensure the availability and integrity of the Brae-Forties Pipeline System. Quality and specification are managed through:

  • Contractual specification
  • Actual composition
  • Ongoing monitoring

A standard specification has been developed  to meet the needs of most fields. Where the standard specification does not meet the field owners' specifications, Marathon Oil would meet with the field owners to discuss how the field can be accommodated.

Monitoring is continuously carried out to ensure that the pipeline liquids delivered by customers meet the agreed specification and are free from non-specification liquids/materials which could damage any part of the pipeline system, or that may prejudice health, safety, security or environmental performance.


The Brae-Forties Pipeline is a 117 kilometer, 30-inch diameter pipeline connecting Brae Alpha to Forties Charlie platform. The nominal liquids capacity is 540,000 barrels of oil per day and maximum allowable operation pressure is 2900 psi.

This capacity only refers to the Brae-Forties Pipeline System and spare capacity is also contingent on FPS having spare capacity.


Access by new entrants to the Brae-Forties Pipeline System is available through:

  • Utilization of the Brae platforms for processing fluids and/or
  • Utilization of the liquids transportation system, through tees with spare tapping points.

There are three subsea tees available for use as access points for third parties into the Brae Alpha to Forties Charlie Pipeline. Two of these are currently used for liquids transportation. The first is from the CNR operated Tiffany platform. The third tee has two main entrants which are the Premier Oil operated Balmoral platform and associated fields and the BP operated Andrew platform and associated fields. The central subsea tee is unused.

It is the responsibility of the shipper for contracting with the owner(s) of connecting infrastructures, such as host platforms and/or spur pipelines. However Marathon Oil, as operator, can facilitate discussions with and provide contacts for such infrastructures.

Access to the Brae Area Infrastructure for fluids processing can be via any of the three platforms. Fluids can be processed to meet the appropriate pipeline entry specification and transported to the appropriate terminal.


In order to determine the impact of a new field's pipeline liquids on the "Shippers Pipeline Liquids," a technical assessment will be carried out prior to it entering the Brae-Forties Pipeline System.

Pro-forma data sheets can be completed by the prospective third parties in order to facilitate this process:


The Brae Area Infrastructure covers the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation (SAGE) pipeline.

The Brae Area Infrastructure gas system, similar to the liquid pipelines, connects to the three platforms via an intra-field pipeline system. Gas is then transported to the SAGE terminal via a 30-inch diameter pipeline from East Brae.


This is a dense phase 350 km, 30-inch diameter nominal bore pipeline running from the Brae Area to the SAGE Terminal at St. Fergus.\

Marathon Oil is a part owner of the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation (SAGE) system. SAGE processes and sweetens natural gas from Brae Area, Beryl Area, Britannia, Scott, Ettrick and Rochelle fields. The SAGE terminal facilities have been designed to enable a wide range of gas throughputs and compositions to be processed.

The Brae Group owns a 50 percent interest in the Apache operated SAGE Pipeline. The other 50 percent is owned by the Beryl group. The SAGE pipeline provides transportation for Brae and Beryl area gas and has a total wet gas capacity of 1,100 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd). The SAGE terminal provides processing for gas from the SAGE pipeline and processing for 840 mmscfd of third-party gas from the Britannia field.


The SAGE pipeline is a dense phase 350 km, 30-inch diameter nominal bore pipeline running from the Brae and Beryl Area to the SAGE Terminal at St. Fergus. It consists of three sub-pipes. The SAGE owners will internally circulate all requests for capacity.

  • SAGE Sub-Pipes Equity Ownership
  • Technical diagram: Illustrates the area encompassed by the SAGE pipeline and the related platforms and pipelines. It starts from the Beryl Area through to the St. Fergus terminal. The area of SAGE pipeline which is owned by both the Brae and Beryl Group is highlighted in orange. The area which is 100 percent owned by Brae Group is highlighted in green. As part owners of SAGE pipeline, Brae Group therefore retains control for the use of facilities for future outside business.
  • SAGE Facts and Figures
  • Terminal Gas Entry Specifications

Three trains of separation, processing and treatment facilities, capable of processing 1,990 million cubic feet of sales gas, 5,300 tonnes of NGLs and approximately 2,500 tonnes of CO2 per day.

For the years for which restricted or no capacity is indicated, there may be capital modification or commercial solutions that can improve the available ullage. For more information, contact us.


Access to SAGE (Brae) System infrastructure will typically involve entering into the agreements listed below:

  • Confidentiality Agreement (CA)
  • Transportation and Processing Operations Services Agreement (TPOSA)
  • Construction and Tie-in Agreement (CTA)
  • Allocation Agreement (conformation to existing Allocation Agreements)