Pioneering Spirit lifts Johan Sverdrup 25,000 tonne platform into place
Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit has installed the 25,000 tonne new processing platform (P2) for Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup development offshore Norway. The massive platform was lifted into position in one lift with the world’s largest construction vessel on March 8. Pioneering Spirit will later install a 95-metre bridge connecting P2 to the adjacent riser platform.
Integral to the second phase of development, P2 is the field’s fifth platform, and the fourth to be transported and installed using Allseas’ unique single-lift technology. After initial preparations, the actual installation job took only three hours, making it one of the fastest ever installations of a large, fully completed topside. Unlike crane vessels, which have a limited lift capacity, Pioneering Spirit enables entire topsides of up to 48,000 tonnes to be lifted in one, single lift. This allows for great savings in the construction and installation phases, in terms of man-hours, schedule and costs.
Single-lift technology also significantly reduces risks related to health, environment and safety, and reduces time in the field, thereby generating substantial emissions savings. “Our single-lift technology offers unique possibilities for platform installations and removals and has substantial safety, schedule and cost-related benefits,” says project manager Frans den Hartogh.
Equinor, partners and Allseas have worked closely over the last three years to prepare P2 for the lift. The platform was towed from Aibel Haugsund to Digernessundet, Stord, and transferred from barge to the waiting Pioneering Spirit for transport to the Johan Sverdrup field, some 140 kilometres west of Stavanger. The phase 2 development will capture the full potential of the huge Johan Sverdrup field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. When the P2 platform comes into operation later this year, production capacity will increase to approximately 720,000 barrels per day.
Equinor have estimated that the use of Pioneering Spirit during the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development help cut more than 1 million man-hours offshore. This enabled a three-to-six month earlier start-up of the field than would have been possible with the alternative topside installation solution, and cut costs by almost NOK 1 billion ($111.3 million).