OTC 2015: Pioneering Spirit undergoing final preparations

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – Allseas said at the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference that it hopes to have its new vessel, Pioneering Spirit, ready to start its first platform removal job in the North Sea later this year. However, the company will not risk compromising safety by rushing preparations.

The current focus is on commissioning of the topside lift system beams for the 382-m (1,254-ft) long, 124-m (407-ft) wide dynamically positioned vessel.

“This is time-consuming for us,” said Allseas President Edward Heerema, “but we have to tune the  hydraulics and the safety systems to make sure everything is operating properly.”

The company is targeting late summer to begin removal of the redundant jackup platform at the Yme field in the Norwegian North Sea.

Beyond that, the vessel has a removal job lined up for Shell’s Brent platforms in the UK northern North Sea and an installation job for Statoil’s Johan Sverdrup topsides offshore Norway.

Pioineering Spirit is equipped at present to lift and remove heavy topsides in one piece. In 2017, Allseas expects to add a jacket lift system that can extract jackets weighing up to 25,000 tons in a single lift – conventionally, for removal, large jackets have to be cut into small sections suitable for crane lifts, leading to complex and protracted subsea operations.

In addition, the vessel is designed to install entire platform topsides weighing up to 48,000 tons in one piece, pre-fabricated onshore, in significant wave heights of up to 3 m (10 f). It can also be con figured to lay pipelines in shallow to ultra-deepwater.

Allseas remains committed to an even larger installation/decommissioning vessel, the Amazing Grace, still in the design phase.This will be able to lift weights of up to 72,000 tons, Heerema said.


Pioneering Spirit
(Photo courtesy Allseas)

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