SURF Decom Case Study

Recovery of flexibles with Ocean Installer

Efficiently supporting field redevelopment


As part of the redevelopment programme on the Balder field in the Norwegian North Sea, Ocean Installer was tasked with brining the FPSO into port for refurbishment works. This required recovery of connected risers and umbilicals.

MDL Solution

MDL SURF equipment, project engineering team and expert offshore personnel facilitated the SURF recovery. The work scope was carried out in two stages: in Q4 2019 and Q2 2020, utilising two MDL horizontal spreads on board the Olympic Challenger and Viking Neptun respectively. For the winter campaign, an MDL 4-track pipelay tensioner and overboarding chute were used to recover the flexibles for cutting on board into 12m sections. The second campaign used the MDL Horizontal Lay System with the 4-track tensioner to recover various products in 2- and 4- track mode which were then cut into sections for disposal during the recovery operations.


By using the MDL HLS, Ocean Installer was able to safely remove approximately 130 buoyancy modules during recovery, via the use of the integrated runway beams, complete with certified air hoists to deck without the use of the vessel crane. Decommissioning of the lines allowed for the FPSO to transit to the shore for life extension works, ahead of the planned field expansion programme.

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