Pioneering Spirit removes Valhall QP topsides
DELFT, the Netherlands – Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit has removed the QP accommodation platform topsides and connecting bridge from the Aker BP-operated Valhall field in the southern Norwegian North Sea.
Weighing 3,800 tons, the QP topsides is the lightest that the vessel has lifted to date, Allseas said.
Executed on Thursday, June 14, the single-lift operation took two hours to complete from positioning the Pioneering Spirit around the platform to the moment of the lift. According to the company, the actual “fast lift” of the topsides took nine seconds.
The 109-ton bridge connecting the QP topsides to the neighboring drilling platform was removed using one of the vessel’s cranes on Tuesday, June 11.
Removal of the QP topsides is the first job for the Pioneering Spirit under the frame agreement which Allseas signed with Aker BP in 2017 to provide transport, installation, and removal services for the Valhall oil field.
The Valhall complex is about 280 km (174 mi) off the Norwegian coast and comprises six steel, bridge-connected platforms that stand in 70 m (230 ft) of water. The QP topsides is the first of the original structures to be removed from the field center as a key part of the modernizing of the Valhall area.
The lift concludes two years of engineering, planning and pre-lift preparations, which ended last month with the installation of lift rigging for the bridge and cutting of the platform legs. According to Allseas, the castellated cut shape, combined with pre-installed custom-made leg restraints, prevented any possible topsides movement prior to the lift.
The QP topsides and bridge have since been sea-fastened onboard the Pioneering Spirit for transport to the Kvaerner AS disposal yard in Norway. The topsides will be transferred to a cargo barge at a sheltered location close to the yard for load-in to the quay for dismantling. The bridge will be crane-lifted directly onto the quayside.
The Pioneering Spirit will return to the North Sea to remove the 24,800-ton Brent Bravo topsides for Shell UK.