Pioneering Spirit Returns to Black Sea for Round Two of the TurkStream Pipeline Installation

Pioneering Spirit, the giant installation and platform decommissioning vessel of the Swiss offshore engineering company Allseas, sails in the Bosphorus on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yoruk Isik

The record-breaking Pioneering Spirit has returned to Black Sea to resume pipe-laying of the second string of pipe for the TurkStream offshore gas pipeline project between Russia and Turkey.

After entering the Black Sea on June 20, Pioneering Spirit completed preparing for Line 2 work which has included lowing the “stinger” and re-testing pipelay equipment on board.

The pipeline head of the second string, which was installed in 2017, has also been recovered from the bottom of the Black Sea on the border of Russian and Turkish Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) at a depth of 2,170 meters.

Pioneering Spirit, which is owned by Swiss engineering company Allseas, completed Line 1 for the TurkStream pipeline in 2018 after laying some 900km of 32-inch pipeline across the Black Sea from Anapa, Russia to Kiyikoy, Turkey in water depths up to 2,200 meters.

Afterward, Pioneering Spirit headed over to Norway where it installed the 22,000-tonne drilling platform for the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea in just one weekend. 

22,000-Tonne Johan Sverdrup Drilling Topside Going to Meet Pioneering Spirit

REUTERS/Yoruk Isik

In addition to being the largest and most capable single-lift platform installation and decommissioning vessel ever built, Pioneering Spirit is also the world’s largest pipelay vessel with an S-lay tension capacity of 2000 tonnes.

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Each line TurkStream will have a throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The first line of the gas pipeline is intended for the Turkish consumers, while the second line is designated for the Southern and South-Eastern Europe.

Calculated over the two lines, a total of 1,161 km of pipes has been laid so far, corresponding to 62% of the combined offshore gas pipeline length.

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