Giant vessel Pioneering Spirit reaches Brent field, set for Delta lift

Allseas-owned giant vessel Pioneering Spirit has arrived at the Shell-operated Brent field located in the UK sector of the North Sea to perform its heaviest lift until now. 

The twin-hulled, 382 meters long and 124 meters wide vessel executed its maiden heavy lift of the Yme offshore platform in the North Sea off Norway in August 2016.

The Shell-operated Brent field, located 115 miles north-east of the Shetland Islands, has produced around three billion barrels of oil equivalent since production started in 1976, which is almost 10% of UK production.

A spokesperson for Shell told Offshore Energy Today on Friday that the giant single-lift installation/decommissioning and pipelay vessel Pioneering Spirit reached the Brent field on Thursday.

The Brent field comprises of four large platforms, Alpha, with a steel jacket, and Bravo, Charlie and Delta, which are concrete gravity-based structures. Topside weights range from 16,000 to 30,000 tonnes. Production from Brent Delta ceased in 2011 and from Brent Alpha and Brent Bravo in November 2014. Production from the field will continue, via Brent Charlie, for several years to come.

The Pioneering Spirit was hired for the removal of Brent platforms back in 2013 while it was still under construction. The removal will begin with the Brent Delta platform. Pioneering Spirit will remove the 23,500 tonne topside in one piece. Worth noting, the Pioneering Spirit is able to remove topsides of up to 48,000 t in a single lift.

Following the lift, the Brent Delta topside will be transported to Able UK’s Seaton Port where it will be recycled over the course of 12 months with an aim to achieve recycling rate of 97%.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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