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KNOWN INITIALLY FOR ITS ABILITY TO MAKE SINGLE-PIECE RETRIEVALS OF SUNKEN TOPSIDES, THIS HEAVY LIFT SYSTEM HAS, IN THE YEARS SINCE ITS LAUNCH IN 2010, EXPANDED ITS PERFORMANCE ENVELOPE TO INCLUDE INSTALLATIONS, DECOMMISSIONINGS, JACKET REMOVALS, JACKET TOWS, AND TOPPLINGS/REEFINGS.


jacket legs – VB 10,000 personnel then secured the load using the 2” Amsteel lines and each 1,800-ton jacket was towed 140 miles back to Sabine Pass. At an average speed of 4 knots, and keeping a careful eye on the load monitors, the 30-hour transits were made without incident. Once the VB 10,000 was moored at her Sabine berth, the second phase of the jacket removal could begin. From a separate barge, welders began the task of severing 14’ foot piling sections from each of the eight legs in order to allow for a heavily ballasted 260’ by 100’ transport barge to be maneuvered underneath the jacket to receive the load. Once the jacket was eased onto the grillage, welders could then complete the sea fastenings, after which the cumbersome barge/jacket combinations were maneuvered out


A view of the VB 10,000 approaching a topside in preparation for a lift. The VB 10,000 lifts an 1,800-ton jacket in the Gulf of Mexico.


This view clearly shows the modification Versabar engineers made to the arms of the Claw which enabled it to lift the topside by the legs.


from under the system and taken in tow for their trips to the salvage yards. Total elapsed time on decommissioning the four topsides and jackets, including time in transit, was about six weeks, which averages out to about 1,800 tons of steel per week, all performed safety while safeguarding the environment and limiting the client’s offshore exposure.


In seven years of operation the VB 10,000 has lifted more than 80,000 tons of steel and performed a range of groundbreaking tasks including, in 2014, the first-ever decommissioning of a spar-mounted topside. And it’s all made possible because the system carries the right ropes, and personnel who know how to optimize them. y


WIRE ROPE EXCHANGE


NOVEMBER–DECEMBER 2016


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