A Dutch salvage expert believes that techniques developed by the global salvage industry could be usefully deployed for offshore decommissioning in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).
Jelle Lanting, commercial manager of Manmoet Salvage BV, told DecomWorld that since every shipwreck presents a unique mix of risks and opportunities, salvage companies have to be ‘terribly creative’.
Recent Manmoet projects include the recovery of a capsized rock barge off the English coast and a monsoon-damaged drilling rig in the South China Sea.
“For those companies who construct offshore oil and gas infrastructure, salvage companies are not regarded as proven,” he said, “but the fact is we have to be terribly creative in dealing with a host of unknowns in totally unique situations.”
Mr Lanting, who will be addressing DecomWorld’s Annual Decommissioning & Abandonment Summit in Houston, said that techniques which could be applied to offshore decommissioning include creating buoyancy in sunken structures to partially refloat them for greater manoeuvrability.
Another approach is the modularization of equipment, such as hydraulic chain pullers, which allows the scaling up of capacity to whatever level is required.
“If you have a chain puller capable of lifting 300 tons each, and you deploy 10, 15, 20 or more of them for a given operation, there are almost no limits on what you can do,” he said.
The 6th Annual Decommissioning & Abandonment Summit, 10-12 March, 2014 in Houston will explore innovative recovery techniques and provide delegates with in-depth market forecasts and expert-level perspectives to equip them for the imminent challenges of GOM decommissioning.