‘Pioneering Spirit’ reaches Norway. Set to remove Yme platform


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.

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 has been 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 will use its giant Pioneering Spirit vessel for the job. The multi-purpose, 382 meters long vessel, formerly known as Pieter Schelte, is specially constructed for decommissioning of offshore installations, such as removal of platform decks.

According to data by Marine Traffic, the Pioneering Spirit has now reached the Yme platform location in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and the vessel is now some 500 meters away from the platform.

The Pioneering Spirit will use its 59 meters wide slot between bows to float in around the Yme platform and then lift off the topside weighing more 13.000 tons in a single piece. The lifting process will, according to the decommissioning plan, be completed in under one minute (about eight seconds).

This is the first real job for the behemoth vessel. Allseas’ dynamically positioned single-lift installation/decommissioning and pipelay vessel underwent testing earlier this month when it installed the 5500 t test platform topsides on the substructure in the K-13 field in the North Sea.

The testing followed the recent completion of commissioning of the topsides lift system and completion of the major part of the harbor test program after which the giant vessel headed to the North Sea for a series of offshore trials.

Once the lifting of the Yme has been completed, the Pioneering Spirit will return to Rotterdam where the remaining four topsides lifting beams will be installed for the Shell Brent Delta topsides removal, scheduled for the summer of 2017.

As for the Yme platform, it will be taken to a scrapyard. The Yme oil platform, spanning some 72m in length and 87m high, will be dismantled by Veolia at its decommissioning site at Lutelandet in South West Norway.

According to info dating back to September 2014 when Veolia obtained the contract, the company plans to recycle 99.7% of the structure as Yme contains a range of valuable materials including precious metals, iron, steel and electrical items.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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