Delays ahead for Allseas’ giant vessel

The Pioneering Spirit, one of the largest vessels in the world, owned by the Swiss-based Allseas Group, will wait some more before embarking on its first contract.

The 382-meter long giant is still in Rotterdam, undergoing the final outfitting, following the delivery from South Korea’s Daewoo Heavy Industries yard. The vessel reached the Netherlands in January this year.

Allseas has contracts for the removal – using the Pioneering Spirit – of the Yme platform in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and also, for the removal of Shell’s Brent platforms in the UK section of the North Sea.

An Allseas spokesperson has confirmed the deferral of the final delivery of the behemoth vessel, citing delays with the installation and commissioning of the topsides lift system beams.

“The delay is caused by late deliveries of components for the topsides lift system beams, and the fact that the installation and commissioning of the system is more complex than originally anticipated,” the Allseas spokesperson said.

This lift system is now expected to be completed during the winter of 2015/2016, after which it will be tested at sea. Once operational, the vessel will have a topsides lift capacity of 48,000 t and a jacket lift capacity of 25,000 t.

According to the new schedule, the Pioneering Spirit – formerly known as the Pieter Schelte – is expected to begin its offshore operations in the first half of 2016, with the removal of the Yme topsides in the Norwegian North Sea.

The spokesperson would not comment on the potential repercussions the delay may have on its contract for the removal of Shell’s Brent platform.

To remind, in August 2013, Shell awarded Allseas the contract for the removal, transportation and load-in to shore of the topsides of three of its Brent platforms, with an option to do the same with the fourth platform. The contract also includes the removal of Brent Alpha’s steel jacket.

According the original schedule, removals would begin with the Brent Delta platform in 2015/2016.

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Shell, seeking comment on the Pioneering Spirit delay. We will update the article if we get a response.

Also worth noting, the Pioneering Spirit has been contracted to install three platform topsides on the recently approved Johan Sverdrup development in the North Sea, offshore Norway.

The vessel will be installing the topsides for the drilling, processing and living quarter platforms.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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