Pioneering Spirit to Carry Gyda Jacket in Vertical Position

Repsol Norge AS is planning the removal of the Repsol Gyda platform in the Norwegian North Sea. Because the jacket cannot sustain loading in a horizontal position during transport, Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit will transport it in a near-vertical position.

The jacket was vertically fabricated and installed back in the nineties, meaning the structure is not strong enough to be transported horizontally. Allseas and Repsol spent more than a year studying ways to move the platform from its current location and bring it to shore for disposal. This is where Pioneering Spirit’s unique jacket lift system comes in. Due to this system, the world’s largest construction vessel can transport the jacket at a sixty-degree angle.

This also meant that Repsol could award the entire contract for removal of both the 18,000-tonne topsides and 11,200-tonne jacket to Allseas. The contract covers the removal, transfer, load-in to shore and disposal of the Gyda platform as well as an option for the removal, transfer, load-in and disposal of the jacket’s 32 conductors, weighing a total 3100 tonnes.

Possible Re-use of Platform

Remarkable is that the contract also includes an option for reinstallation on another field. This would be an unprecedented step for a fixed installation off Norway. The platform is in good technical condition, prompting operator Repsol to consider re-use. The platform’s steel jacket is included in this option, provided that it fits the water depth at the new field. Although using an existing platform for a new field would save cost, Repsol has yet to find an interested party.

Gyda Field

Gyda is a field in the southern part of the Norwegian sector in the North Sea, between the Ula and Ekofisk fields. The field has been developed with a combined drilling, accommodation and processing facility with a steel jacket standing in 66-metre water depth. The platform started producing in 1990. A decommissioning plan was submitted in 2016 and Gyda is now producing in parallel with plugging of the Gyda wells.

Removal is planned for between late 2020 and 2023. Allseas has selected Kvaerner AS to either preserve the platform for a new client or to dismantle and recycle it at its Stord disposal facility on the west coast of Norway if such a client is not found.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.