Giant Pioneering Spirit vessel lifts Yme platform

Allseas’ giant single-lift installation/decommissioning and pipelay vessel “Pioneering Spirit” successfully executed its maiden heavy lift project – the removal of the 13,500-ton Yme offshore platform in the North Sea, 100 km off the coast of Norway, on August 22, 2016, for Repsol Norge AS.

The Yme unit is a jack-up type platform standing on three steel legs of 3.5 m diameter, which are inserted approximately 10 meters inside the subsea storage tank columns at 93 m water depth.

The platform has since been sea-fastened on board and the vessel is currently on its way to the newly developed dismantling yard in Lutelandet, Norway.

After years of sitting idle in the North Sea without ever producing a single barrel of oil, the time has come for the Yme oil platform to be removed and sent to the scrapyard.

‘Not a single barrel’

The platform, Yme MOPUSTOR, with MOPU an abbreviation for Mobile Offshore Production Unit, was delivered by Dutch SBM Offshore to produce oil from the Talisman operated namesake field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

However, following cracks found in the legs of the platform in 2012, the platform was abandoned, and the decision was subsequently made to remove and scrap the platform.

The contract for the lifting of the topsides was awarded to Allseas, which used the Pioneering Spirit for the job. The vessel used its 59 meters wide slot between bows to float in around the Yme platform and then lifted off the topside weighing more 13.000 tons in a single piece.

More to come

While lifting 13.000 tons in a single piece is an admirable achievement, it is nothing compared to the Pioneering Spirit’s next task.  The twin-hulled, 382 meters long and 124 meters wide vessel will be used for the decommissioning of Shell’s Brent platforms in the UK sector of the North Sea.

Compared to Yme, the Brent Delta topsides is almost twice as heavy, weighing 23.500 tons. Worth noting, the Pioneering Spirit is able to remove topsides of up to 48.000 tons in a single lift. According to info found on Allseas’ website, the decommissioning of the Brent Delta topsides is also scheduled for 2016.