AllSeas USA, Inc
Allseas USA, Inc. is a global company specializing in subsea construction, heavy-lift and installation of pipelines. The company’s main headquarters are located in Switzerland with a U.S. division in Houston, Texas where they handle American operations. They have performed work in many parts of the world and have a presence in almost every ocean or sea globally.
Allseas USA employs about 2,000 workers. Employees are located across the globe including the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, and Portugal. It is a privately held company that was founded in 1985. The first DP pipelay vessel, Lorelay, was built and began being used in the North Sea. They were contracted by Exxon in 1991 to lay the Santa Ynez pipeline located offshore California, their first U.S. project.
The U.S. office in Houston was opened in 1991. The company has 140 vessels that it utilizes for operations where needed. They have specialized vessels that are used primarily for subsea and pipeline installations. In addition to vessels, the company provides turnkey services and support including conception and design, engineering, project management, procurement, installation and commissioning of a variety of projects.
Allseas has some large vessels that it utilizes globally. In addition to the Lorelay, which is still in use, some of their most significant vessels include:
- Pioneering Spirit
The Pioneering Spirit, formerly the Pieter Schelte, is the largest construction vessel in the world. It was completely designed by Allseas and uses single-lift installation and removal of large gas and oil platforms. In 2017 it undertook the heaviest offshore lift of the platform Brent Delta for Shell at 24,200 tons.
The Solitaire is one of the largest pipelay vessels globally. Operational since 1998 it has been continually improved to provide excellent workability. It has a capacity of carrying 22,000 tons of pipe and can work safely in congested areas. In 2007 the Solitaire set a world record for ultra-deep pipeline installation with pipe laying at a depth of 9100 feet. It has a high cruise speed and can be utilized in any ocean worldwide.
- Calamity Jane
This support vessel is used to assist with pipelay operations including surveys, crossing preparation, and mattress installation. It also works with the pipeline trencher, Digging Donald. The streamlined shape and size allows for easy access in spaces where larger ships cannot maneuver. It installs structures using a subsea installation frame along with a remote operated vehicle (ROV) combined with the main A-frame.
- Tog Mor
This is a flat-bottomed barge that anchors in shallow offshore waters during construction activities. It is equipped with a 10-point mooring system and pipelay equipment that allows for installation of pipe that is up to 60 inches in diameter. The vessel has a system to allow mid-point tie-ins and has a 300 t crane used for construction activities. It is operable worldwide.
The Audacia is a pipelay vessel that is capable of handling projects requiring small to large-diameter pipelines. It can be used in any water depth and is commonly placed for use between the Solitaire and Lorelay for precise pipeline layment. Because of its shape, it can be easily positioned in congested areas. It’s long length, 225 meters, allows for multiple workstations and it has a large pipeline hold capacity.
Accidents and Injuries
- In 2006 a worker died aboard the Lorelay while working in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. The accident occurred when the Rear Bevel Machine Operator (RBMO) became caught between the ends of two pipe joints. A nearby worker did not see the accident but turned off the machine while another worker released the load. The worker fell to the ground and was transferred to the hospital for emergency treatment where he died.
- An employee filed a lawsuit against Allseas USA after he slipped and fell while working on the Lorelay. The worker had walked into some water and had wet shoes when he and another employee used the stairs. The worker slipped and fell on the stairs, severely injuring his back, which required several surgeries. The lawsuit resulted in only a partial win for the employee because the court determined that he was partially responsible since he observed the water and should have been more careful. He had not used the handrail on the stairs.