VB 10,000 Completes First Full Season of Work

In its first full season of work, the VB 10,000 completed 40 lift operations of widely differing scope and nature. Ten toppled decks and two toppled jackets were retrieved from the sea floor. Three standing decks and three standing jackets were removed as well. Two of the jackets were also towed and reefed, a procedure first performed by the VB 10,000's predecessor, the Bottom Feeder. In September, the VB 10,000 removed five sunken platforms in a four-day span utilizing the new Claw lift device. After a successful season in 2011, the VB 10,000 is currently undergoing routine maintenance and upgrades in preparation for the 2012 lift season.
 

 

The Claw Debuts in the Gulf

In a four-day span, the VB 10,000 retrieved five sunken topsides from the Gulf of Mexico using the new Claw lift device. Purpose-built baskets were lowered by the VB 10,000 into the Gulf and placed on the sea floor adjacent to each structure. Each of the five topsides was then lifted one at a time by the Claw, and placed on a basket. The VB 10,000 retrieved the baskets with the topsides on top of them, placing no further stress on the damaged topsides. One gantry was used to perform the underwater lift of the topside with the Claw, while the other gantry of the VB 10,000 used a custom rigging setup to lift each basket, resulting in the quick, efficient recovery of approximately 3,500 tons of combined weight of hurricane debris.
 

 

SIT Testing

Two Versabar test fixtures were employed during System Integration Testing of a chainjack and wildcat for a client. The test was set up over a period of a month and required 300 tons of equipment, including a custom built deck, stair tower, and A-frame assembly. The chainjack was subjected to numerous proof-load tests of up to 309 tons.
 

 

New Versabar Lift Device - The Claw

Designed and built in just nine months as a solution for reducing diver exposure time in offshore salvage operations, the Claw is Versabar's new lift device to be used in conjunction with the VB 10,000 lift system. The Claw consists of two identical assemblies, one for each gantry of the VB 10,000. Each operates independently, but can be used in tandem for a double claw lift. The Claw will perform most of it's work underwater, retrieving damaged topsides and placing them on custom engineered baskets that have been lowered to the sea floor adjacent to sunken topsides. The Claw was assembled at Gulf Marine Fabricators in Aransas Pass, TX where it also underwent a series of function and load tests to ensure all of its key components were functioning properly prior to its deployment.
 

 

VB 10,000 Platform Lifts with Cradles

Using custom engineered rigging, Versabar's VB 10,000 retrieved two heavily damaged platforms from the Gulf of Mexico. Due to the extremely fragile nature of the structures, a cradle designed and fabricated by Versabar was used to assist in the lifts. The VB 10,000 lifted each platformontothe cradle, which had previously been lowered to the floor of the Gulf. The VB 10,000 then hooked up to cradle and brought it to the surface carrying each platform. At the surface, the cradle was lowered onto a barge for transport. The total lift weights including the cradle and rigging were 2,200 and 2,550-tons.
 

 

2,600-ton Topside Decommissioning

Versabar's VB 10,000 lift system was used in the decommissioning of a 2,600-ton topside in the Gulf of Mexico. Once the four point hook-up was complete, the legs were cut, and the deck lifted from its jacket, the VB 10,000 used its GPS thrusters to navigate away from the jacket, carrying the topside to a transport barge. The deck was then lowered and sea-fastened to the barge for departure.
 

 

250-ton Jacket Base Lift

Versabar's VB 10,000 lift system removed a 250-ton jacket base from the Gulf. The VB 10,000 overcame numerous technical challenges, including the fragile nature of the structure, to lift the base safely and place it on a barge for transport. The jacket had previously been lifted and transported to a new site in 2009 by Versabar's Bottom Feeder lift system.
 

 

3,200-ton Deck Removal

Versabar's VB 10,000 lift system retrieved a 3,200-ton topside that has been stuck in 40 feet of mud as a result of Hurricane Ivan. Since the deck was positioned on its side, Versabar designed and fabricated custom barge grillage to properly support the deck as it was transported by barge to a salvage facility.
 

 

1,800-ton Topside Decommissioning

Versabar's VB 10,000 lift system was used in the decommissioning of an 1,800-ton four-pile production topside. The VB 10,000 floated over the topside and hooked up on four points. After welders made final cuts, the deck was lifted from its jacket. The VB 10,000 maneuvered away from the jacket using the system's newly commissioned GPS thrusters. A transport barge was then put into position and the deck was lowered and sea-fastened to the barge before it departed for a Gulf Coast salvage facility.
 

 

Happy Hour - Two for One

Two for One. On May 24th, Versabar's VB 10,000 lift system performed its first lift of the season a unique two for one lift. In the Gulf of Mexico, the VB 10,000 simultaneously lifted a 350-ton debris basket and a 250-ton compressor. This was the first ever in which both sets of blocks performed two independent lifts at the same time, each one on a separate gantry.
 

 

OTC 2011

For the 17th year, Versabar participates in the annual Offshore Technology Conference held at Reliant Stadium in Houston. To view video footage taken at the trade show, click here. Versabar's Technical Director, John Greeves, and Sales and Marketing Director, Tom Cheatum discuss the thirty year anniversary of the company, and the innovative VB 10,000 lift system.
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