Allseas’ single-lift vessel Pioneering Spirit marked a milestone on 2 June with the safe and successful installation of the 22,000 ton drilling platform topsides in the Johan Sverdrup field on the Norwegian continental shelf.

It was the first platform installation job performed by Pioneering Spirit, and the heaviest installation ever executed in a single lift offshore to date.

The 382 m long Pioneering Spirit is the largest construction vessel in the world, designed for the single-lift installation and removal of large oil and gas platforms and the installation of heavy underwater pipelines. The maximum capacity to lift a platform topside is 48,000 ton.

dws-allseas-sverdrup-lifting-from-barge-350pxThe Pioneering Spirit lifts the topsides from the barge in Bømlafjorden.

Precise manoeuvring
The operation started with the transfer of the 147 m tall topsides (right on top photo) to Pioneering Spirit (left) by barge in Bømlafjorden, just north of Stavanger, Norway.

Nine hours later the vessel arrived with her cargo in the Johan Sverdrup field and immediately started using its dynamic position system to manoeuvre around the eight-legged steel jacket that had been fixed to the 110 m deep sea floor.

The precise manoeuvring, setting down the topsides on the jacket and moving out of the 500 m zone, only took three hours.

dws-allseas-sverdrup-placed-in-fog-350pxDespite the fog on the North Sea, the topside deck was put on the jacket (in yellow) in only three hours.

Single lift
Up until now big topsides have been modular in design and put in place by crane vessels. However, crane vessels have not been able to lift more than 12,000 tonnes in one lift.

The brand new lifting technology on Allseas‘ Pioneering Spirit vessel allows entire topsides of up to 48,000 tonnes to be lifted in one, single lift.

Initially the vessel was developed for the removal of scrapped platforms. Equinor is the first user of the technology for the installation of big, new topsides.

This allows for great savings in the construction and installation phases, both in terms of manhours and costs.

Two more topsides
The drilling platform topsides are the first of three structures Pioneering Spirit will install during the Johan Sverdrup field’s first development phase.

The heavy lift vessel will return to the field in the spring of 2019 to install the 26,000 ton process platform topside and the 18,000 ton living quarters platform topside.

This news item was originally published on the website of Allseas and Equinor.

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More information
Allseas Engineering
Delft, the Netherlands
+31 15 268 1800

Single lift installation of Equinor's 22,000 ton drilling platform topsides 120 km off the Norwegian coast.