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Gearing up for the big lift in the North Sea

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How do you go about removing a massive piece of infrastructure from a hostile environment like the North Sea?

Oil giant Shell has come up with one answer which could be put to the test next year – using a mega-ship to remove the topside of an oil platform in a single lift.

The oil firm hopes Pioneering Spirit – originally called Pieter Schelte – will prove a game-changer by successfully removing the main structure in one go.

Allseas also has a contract from Shell to remove the topsides of two of the other three platforms in the field – Bravo and Alpha (along with Alpha’s steel jacket) – subject to consultation and UK government approval. It has an option to do the same with the fourth platform, Charlie.

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