Ardent completes largest wreck removal of 2016

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The Conquest MB-1 crane hoists a 600-ton piece of the Troll Solution jack-up wreckage from the Gulf of Mexico

DECEMBER 7, 2016 — Houston headquartered salvor Ardent last month completed the largest wreck removal of 2016 — removing the Troll Solution jack-up from the seabed of Mexico’s Bay of Campeche

Weighing approximately 7,000 tons, the jack-up tilted during the positioning to carry out maintenance work related to the Pemex-operated Caan Alf production platform on May 5. At the

According to Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, the accident occurred aboard the Troll Solution jack-up when the rig tilted due to a fault in one of its legs. It subsequently collapsed and sank into the seabed in approximately 30m water depth.

After sinking, the Troll Solution came to rest within two meters from the active Caan-Alf platform.

Prior to Ardent’s involvement, unsuccessful efforts had been made to refloat and salvage the jack-up.

Ardent was created by the merger of Crowley Maritime’s Titan Salvage and Svitzer Salvage and among assets deployed to the Troll Solution operation was the Conquest MB-1 crane barge with a maximum of 1,400 tons lifting capacity, which had been previously deployed by Titan in support of the Costa Concordia removal in Italy.r

Other assets deployed by Ardent included a 1,000-ton hydraulic wreck grab from the Netherlands and further support vessels from the U.S. and Mexico.

The operation used Ardent’s newly designed Guided Guillotine to dismember the jack-up, instead of cutting with more conventional methods.

“Traditional methods require either a push or pull-cut with chains or diamond wire. Pull-cuts require tunnels to be bored into the seabed, whereas push-cuts require a large framework to be built around,” said Ardent Naval Architect Roland De Marco.

“The main hurdles to overcome were, how to best cut the jack-up into sections without fabricating an elaborate structure, and boring holes underneath the jack-up through the seabed was improbable due to obstructions,” said Shelby Harris, Ardent Americas Operations Director. “We had to apply ingenuity to use our chain cutting techniques on the deck house in a less than conventional method, and the Ardent Guided Guillotine sectioned the hull. The method worked very well.”

Conventional guillotine cutters are restricted to operations above the surface. The Ardent Guided Guillotine can function underwater with the precision to cut the Troll Solution jack-up into the required lift pieces.

The Ardent salvage team cut the deck house into six pieces with Ardent Chain Pullers, and the vessel’s hull into 31 pieces with the Ardent Guided Guillotine and subsequently lifted these from the seabed with the Conquest MB-1 crane barge.

“This project showed the excellent integration of staff from both ex-Svitzer and ex-Titan team members, and further serves as a solid foundation for Ardent to continue progressing ahead,” said Peter Pietka, Ardent CEO.

“We look forward to more challenges and collaboration with our partners in the offshore industry in the near future,” he added.


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