Pioneering Spirit sets sail for Brent Delta

April 25, 2017

The world’s largest vessel has set sail today (25 April) to the UK North Sea Brent field, where it will perform the heaviest offshore lift to date. 

Having already broken the record with the 13,400-tonne Yme lift, offshore Norway, the close to a million-tonne displacement Pioneering Spirit mega-vessel left Rotterdam and is now on its way to Shell’s Brent Delta facility, 186km north east of Shetland, to remove the platform’s 24,200-tonne topsides. 

Image: Pioneering Spirit's vessel track out of Rotterdam Port, earlier today. Below, Pioneering Spirit ready to lift the Yme topsides.

The US$3 billion (Euro €2.6 billion) vessel is the world's largest vessel ever constructed, in terms of its gross tonnage (403,342gt), breadth (123.75m / 406ft.), and displacement (900,000-tonne).

It is equal in length to six Boing 747s, has deck space equal to six football pitches, and can lift up to 48,000-tonne topsides and 25,000-tonne jackets. 

In late March, mega-vessel tested its stinger and stinger transition frame.

Brent Delta is one of four platforms on the huge and iconic Brent field, which was discovered in 1971, and has been producing since 1976, at a rate of 504,000 b/d at its peak in 1982.

To date, the field has produced about 4 billion boe, initially mostly oil but then also gas after conversion work in the 1990s, which saw it reach 700,000 boe/d by 2001. 

But now, after 40 years in production, the facilities are being wound down, the field’s production having reached the end of its economic life – originally projected to be just 25 years.

Read more:

Shell's Brent Delta single lift in detail

VIDEO: Pioneering Spirit's first lift.

Take a virtual tour of Pioneering Spirit



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