Heavy Lift Ship Removes Seven Aging Platforms From Exxon's Sable Field

All images courtesy Heerema

Published Dec 23, 2020 3:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

The heavy lift crane platform Thialf has completed a multimonth project to decommission the Sable offshore gas field off Nova Scotia, Canada. 

The Sable field was built out in the late 1990s, and over its 20 years in operation, it produced over two trillion cubic feet of natural gas and NGLs for the Canadian market. Production ended in late 2018, and operator ExxonMobil contracted with Heerema for the platform decommissioning phase. 

Images courtesy Heerema

In April, Heerema dispatched Thialf to Canada to begin the project. Over the course of the spring and summer, Thialf's crew hoisted off all seven platform topsides and seven jackets at the field. Each giant component was lifted off and then lowered onto a heavy deck barge for removal. 

Altogether, Heerema's tugs towed away five bargeloads totaling nearly 50,000 tonnes of steel. All of the scrap was delivered to the Able UK demolition yard in Hartlepool, UK, on the opposite side of the North Atlantic. 

The project was delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the risk was managed. None of the 300 workers and mariners involved contracted the disease, even though the project involved multiple crew changes, Heerema said.