Pioneering Spirit Wins West White Rose Gig

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Canadian operator Husky Energy confirmed the award of a contract to Allseas to use the Swiss player’s behemoth offshore vessel Pioneering Spirit to transport and install the topsides for the West White Rose wellhead platform.

Pioneering Spirit will load out the topsides facility from a nearshore dock in Newfoundland, Canada, and transfer it to the West White Rose field where it will be integrated with a concrete gravity structure (CGS) in the summer of 2021, said Malcolm Maclean, Husky’s senior vice president of the Atlantic region.

Mclean was speaking at the NOIA conference in the Newfoundland & Labrador provincial capital of St John’s on Tuesday.

The twin-hulled Pioneering Spirit had been tipped for the award in 2015 before Husky temporarily shelved the West White Rose Extension project to carry out optimisation work. The fate of the transport contract was uncertain as Husky continued progressing the project toward a final investment decision.

Husky took FID on the project at the end of May and is set to finalise the contract with Allseas by the end of this month, Mclean said. Husky will finalise all major contracts associated with the White Rose project “in the next few weeks”, he added.

It is understood Kiewit Offshore Services will fabricate the topsides designed by Wood Group Mustang at its yard in Corpus Christi, Texas. Operating weight will be about 30,000 tonnes, according to Husky.

Maclean did not comment on which contractor would transport the deck from the US to Newfoundland but said that contract would be one of a half-dozen or so set to be announced soon.

Pioneering Spirit will carry out the offshore mating of the topsides and CGS, Maclean said. The tow-out contract for the CGS itself has not yet been announced.

The West White Rose reservoir holds an estimated 115 million barrels of recoverable oil, and output is expected to peak at about 37,000 barrels per day, with first oil likely in 2022.

Pioneering Spirit has been making waves since it entered service last year, carrying out impressive and record-setting heavy lifts around the world.

It successfully decommissioned the ill-fated Yme platform in the Norwegian Sea and later headed to the North Sea to decommission Shell’s Brent Delta platform.

Its next scheduled job is a pipelay contract for Gazprom’s TurkStream pipeline in the Black Sea later this year, following by installation of the twin Nord Stream 2 pipeline in 2018 and 2019, respectively.