“Pioneering Spirit” Successfully Installs Test Platform

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World’s biggest ship begins new North Sea oil and gas era

Spirit

One of the world’s biggest ships has begun a new era for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

The Pioneering Spirit, owned by Allseas, used its vast lifting capacity for the first time to remove a platform for scrappage.

“Pioneering Spirit” successfully installs test platform Allseas’ dynamically positioned single-lift installation/decommissioning and pipelay vessel.  “Pioneering Spirit” marked a major milestone by successfully installing the 5500 t test platform topsides on the substructure in the K-13 field in the North Sea on Sunday 7 August.

The motion-compensated topsides lift system beams accurately positioned the topsides, after which installation went exactly as planned.  In the coming days “Pioneering Spirit” will perform DP trials, followed by a series of installation and removal trials with the test platform topsides under varying weather conditions.  After the successful completion of the offshore trials, “Pioneering Spirit” will sail to Norway to remove the 13,500 t Yme platform for Repsol.

After the fitting of additional lifting equipment in the Netherlands, the ship is booked later this year to start work on platforms in the UK North Sea.

Its arrival begins to open up the market for scrapping ageing North Sea equipment, which is estimated as being worth around £40bn in the next four decades.

The “Pioneering Spirit” was built in Singapore and fitted out in Rotterdam.

It is also capable of lifting the steel jackets on which platforms have been sitting since the 1970s.

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Reference: Allseas, BBC

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