May 31 - Earlier this month, towage operator, Kotug International's offshore division assisted Allseas with the transfer and transport of Shell's Brent Delta topsides after the record-setting removal of the structure by Allseas' Pioneering Spirit.

The 24,000-tonnes Brent Delta platform topsides were removed by Pioneering Spirit at the beginning of May, as HLPFI reported here.

Kotug was mainly involved in providing assistance to the cargo barge, Iron Lady during the transfer of the topsides from the Pioneering Spirit to the barge and the subsequent tow of the barge to the Able UK decommissioning yard in Teesside, north east England.

Four of Kotug's tugs handled the Iron Lady as it was positioned under the Brent Delta platform for uplifting onto the Pioneering Spirit.

The same four tugs then towed the Iron Lady once the topsides had been transferred from the Pioneering Spirit in the UK's river Tees for the final leg of their voyage to the decommissioning yard.

Kotug says that a narrow and tide-restricted entrance channel to the Able UK decommissioning yard required in-depth towage expertise and powerful, versatile tugs. Kotug and Allseas chose to deploy two Rotortugs and two ASD tugs in order to create maximum redundancy and manoeuvrability in the tug configuration.

Kotug tow master Bas van Hoorn commented: "The towage operations were carefully prepared in close cooperation with Allseas, with extensive calculations and risk assessments to determine the safest and most efficient towage plan for the Iron Lady."