Giant Pioneering Spirit Lands Pipelay Work in Black Sea

Mike Schuler
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December 8, 2016

Pioneering Spirit. Photo: Allseas Group

Swiss-based Allseas Group announced Thursday it has received offshore gas pipe laying contract in the Black Sea utilizing the world’s largest construction vessel Pioneering Spirit.

The contract was awarded to Allseas by South Stream Transport to lay the first line of the TurkStream offshore gas pipeline.

Under the contract Pioneering Spirit will lay 900 km of 32-inch pipeline through the Black Sea from Anapa in Russia to Kiyikoy in Turkey, where water depths reach 2200 meters. The contract also comes with an option for laying a second line.

In addition to being the largest and most capable single-lift platform installation and decommissioning vessel, Pioneering Spirit is also the world’s largest pipelay vessel. The vessel’s pipelay equipment makes it possible to install record-weight pipelines from from shallow to ultra-deep water with high lay rates. With an S-lay tension capacity of 2000 t, the Pioneering Spirit surpassess the Solitaire, another Allseas vessel, as the world’s largest pipelay vessel.

Allseas will start laying the first line for the TurkStream project in the second half of 2017. 

At 382 meters long and 124 meters wide, the Pioneering Spirit is one of the largest ships ever constructed. At the bow the vessel features a 122 m long by 59 m wide slot that enables it to straddle offshore oil and gas platforms and remove entire topsides in a single lift. The vessel features a topside lift capacity of 48,000 tons, making it one of the most capable heavy-lift ships in the world.

Pioneering Spirit’s first commercial job was this past summer removing Repsol’s 13,500 t Yme production platform in the Norwegian North Sea. The TurkStream pipeline will represent the maiden pipelay project for Pioneering Spirit

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