Troll Solution Wreck Removal


Largest Wreck Removal of 2016 Completed in Gulf of Mexico

Conquest Offshore’s MB-1 heavy lift barge was the key asset in the largest wreck removal recorded in 2016. Conquest MB-1 removed the Troll Solution jack-up rig from the seabed 30 meters deep of the Bay of Campeche, Mexico.  

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

A little more than a year before the salvage industries’ largest wreck removal of 2016 in the southern Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico was competed, the jack-up drilling rig Troll Solution, weighing approximately 7,000 tons, collapsed while carrying out maintenance work wellhead platform May 5, 2015, killing two workers and injuring dozens aboard the jack-up. The rig came to a rest on the seabed in approximately 30 meters of water and within just two meters from the active platform.

After initial efforts to refloat and salvage the jack-up were unsuccessful, Ardent was hired on to remove the vessel from the Mexican seabed.

BAY OF CAMPECHE, Mexico (Nov. 15, 2016)- Ardent completed removing the Troll Solution jack-up in November, 2016. This was the largest wreck removal operation in 2016. Ardent deployed assets from several countries, including the crane barge Conquest MB-1, and a 1,000-ton hydraulic wreck grab from the Netherlands. Further support vessels were deployed from the U.S. and Mexico.

To successfully complete the operation, several assets from several countries were deployed, including the 1,400-ton lifting capacity Conquest MB-1 crane barge, used by Titan Salvage in the Costa Concordia wreck removal in Italy, as well as a 1,000-ton hydraulic wreck grab from the Netherlands. For the cutting operation a newly designed Guided Guillotine to dismember the jack-up into pieces, instead of cutting with more conventional methods, which it would then lift by crane.

The 6 pieces that made up the deck house and the 31 pieces from the vessel’s hull were lifted during the course of 2016.

“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.

20161208-troll-solution_320161208-troll-solution_420161208-troll-solution_5The conventional guillotine cutters are restricted to operations above the surface, but the Guided Guillotine can function underwater with the precision. The salvage team used the device to cut the jack-up’s hull into 31 pieces, while using a chain puller to cut the deck house into six pieces. All were subsequently lifted to the surface using the Conquest MB-1 crane barge. 

The the crane barge Conquest MB-1 along with other equipment at the Troll Solution salvage site. Photo: Ardent

“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,” said Harris.

A bow piece of the Troll Solution after the salvage team cut and lifted it from the seabed using a 1,000 ton hydraulic wreck grab from the Netherlands. Photo: Ardent

Parties completed the salvage job last month in which the excellent integration by all involved was showed.

A survey print-out shows removed sections of the Troll Solution jack-up as the wreck removal case was ongoing. Image credit: Ardent

A survey print-out shows removed sections of the Troll Solution jack-up as the wreck removal case was ongoing. Image credit: Ardent

Conquest is very proud to be a part of the team that salvaged the Troll Solution jack-up. Few had thought the project would be finished in time before the weather window would close at the end of the year. Another excellent project can be added to the resume of the Conquest MB-1 and it’s dedicated crew. With the project in the Gulf of Mexico more than 10.000 operational hours was reached without any mechanical downtime.

 “The experience and knowhow gained in a complex project like this in a oil & gas field has elevated us to the next level. The project showed excellent integration from the people, assets and technologies, and we look forward to conquer more challenges with our partners in the offshore industry.” said Michiel Zwagerman, CEO of Conquest Offshore.  

Following the success of the project, the Conquest MB-1 crane barge is now in Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana area and route for future projects.

About Conquest Offshore:

 Conquest Offshore is company based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Conquest Offshore operates up to 1400 ton crane barges internationally for construction and installation work (ports, oil & gas, offshore wind), decommissioning, salvage and wreck removal.