Pioneering Spirit completes Gyda platform removal

Pioneering Spirit vessel removes and delivers North Sea platform jacket for disposal – gallery

Offshore contractor Allseas and its giant heavy-lift vessel Pioneering Spirit have completed the removal of Repsol Norge’s massive 30,000-tonne Gyda platform from the North Sea and its transport to the shore following the recent removal of the platform jacket.

Pioneering Spirit completes Gyda platform removal; Source: Allseas

As informed by Allseas on Tuesday, the world’s largest construction vessel, Pioneering Spirit, delivered the platform’s 11,000-tonne jacket to Aker Solutions’ disposal yard in Stord, Norway, less than 48 hours after removing it from the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The owner claims that this latest job for the vessel’s new jacket lift technology is one of the heaviest ever, but well within the system’s 20,000-tonne lift capacity.

On Tuesday morning, the jacket was set down directly onto the quayside and reunited with its decommissioned drilling and production topsides, delivered by Pioneering Spirit in May this year. Aker Solutions expects to recycle around 98 per cent of the facilities.

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Allseas President, Edward Heerema, commented: “The Gyda platform removal strengthens our reputation as a game changer in the industry. Again we have shown that Pioneering Spirit provides a significantly faster, safer, more efficient and sustainable option for the removal and installation of offshore facilities.”

Split across two campaigns to allow for the vessel’s busy schedule, Pioneering Spirit completed the removal, transport, and load-in to the disposal yard of the entire Gyda platform, its 32 conductors and template in 12 days. To facilitate the removal of the jacket, the structure’s 24 foundation piles were cut below the seabed level. Main hoist blocks suspended from the Jacket lift system (JLS) beams were connected to pre-installed rigging and the entire structure lifted and aligned with the lifting beams.

As the jacket was vertically fabricated and installed, the structure could not sustain loading in the horizontal position during transport. The solution of transporting the jacket in a near-vertical (60 per cent) position, with interface supports and grillage made delivery of the complete jacket to the yard possible, Allseas explained.

Gyda is a field in the southern part of the Norwegian sector in the North Sea, between the Ula and Ekofisk fields. The field started producing in 1990 and a decommissioning plan was submitted in 2016 and approved in 2017. Production ceased in 2020 and P&A work was finalised in October 2021.

The giant vessel will now mobilise for further heavy lift commitments, including further jacket removals, as well as the installation of a major offshore wind transmission station and jacket in the German North Sea.

In what has been a busy year for Pioneering Spirit, the vessel has already lifted and transported more than 90,000 tonnes of decommissioned and new offshore facilities for the offshore energy industry in 2022, deploying both its jacket lift and topsides lift systems.