Extracting oil from the ocean floor requires a deep-sea rig setup with some of the most powerful machinery on the planet today: from motorized winches to giant pipes linked together with mechanized tongs.
For over 40 years, the Brent Delta oil rig stood tall in the North Sea, extracting oil and gas from beneath one of the roughest seas on the planet. Now this extraordinary machine has reached the end of its life and has been towed ashore to a decommissioning yard, where it'll be torn apart, melted down, and sold for recycling. Engineer Chad Zdenek is on hand to help the salvage team dismantle the 40-story, 26,000-ton oil rig and uncover its five engineering innovations.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.