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Offshore expertise key to double topside transverse load-out in Oman



Key Benefits:

Transverse load-out track record

In-house naval expertise

Management and co-ordination of simultaneous operations


ALE’s experience in combining multiple load-out scopes, including strand jack pulling, barge ballasting and mooring, was instrumental to ensuring the safe and successful load-out of two 7,000t topsides in Sohar, Oman.

The project’s greatest challenge was that both load-outs needed to be completed transversally and this required the topsides to be transported across the width of the barge. ALE would also need to consider the critical effect of the tidal variations on the manoeuvre. Compared to a longitudinal load-out, ALE would be working with a much finer margin of error to maintain the barge’s stability for a safe operation.

ALE utilised the engineering expertise of an in-house naval architect to develop a pattern for the manoeuvres that would ensure the most effective operation. Combined with close co-operation and communication between other contractors, ALE was able to co-ordinate the ballasting with the strand jack pulling speed. Taking the rise and fall of the tidal levels into account, ALE was able to keep the barge stable and level with the quay throughout the transversal manoeuvres and load-out.

Matt Hodgson, Engineering Manager for ALE – Offshore Services, commented, “Transverse load-outs demand the best in offshore expertise to deliver efficient operations with the highest safety standards. The narrow window for the righting moment meant we had to anticipate the next ballasting phase whilst simultaneously considering the strand jack pulling speed. This process was the fulcrum of the operation and we were able to draw on our experience from previous transverse load-outs, ensuring ALE was able to provide a safe, stable and efficient operation.”

Both topsides will form part of the expansion of the Hasbah gas field, which is part of the Wasit Gas Program in the Arabian Gulf.

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