48,000 metric tons of infrastructure removed with zero recordable HSE cases

Sable Island Thialf Decommissioning ExxonMobil-2
Sable Island Thialf Decommissioning ExxonMobil-2
Offshore Decommissioning

Sable Project Removal Campaign

Over eight months Thialf removed the Sable Project Offshore Facilities on behalf of client ExxonMobil

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At a glance

  • Engineering, preparation, removal, and disposal (EPRD) contract for the removal of ExxonMobil's Sable Project Offshore Facilities.
  • Eight-month long campaign.
  • Seven platform topsides, seven jackets, and 22 conductors removed with the reverse-installation method.
  • 48,000 metric tons of offshore infrastructure removed.
  • 99% of the structures recycled at the ABLE UK decommissioning yard.
Jaime Lopez Heerema Sable Island ExxonMobil

"We finished the campaign strong, and everybody returned home safely."

Jaime Lopez

Project Manager, Heerema

The Heerema promise


As a carbon-neutral contractor, you can trust Heerema to create sustainable value on your project.

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We have the highest standards of safety and believe in an incident and injury-free workplace. To achieve this goal we follow our Dare to Care program.

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With over fifty years of experience in transporting, installing, and removing offshore infrastructure you can rely on Heerema.

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Sable Island Exxonmobil 4-1
Sable Island Removal Campaign

Thialf on location at Sable Island

Sable Island Removal Campaign

Thialf on location at Sable Island.

Sable Island Removal Campaign

Going, going, gone! The last moments of one of the seven jackets removed

Sable Island Exxonmobil 2-1 Sable Island Exxonmobil 3-1 Sable Island Exxonmobil 4-1

Removing the Sable Project Offshore Facilities

The campaign entailed the Engineering, Preparation, Removal, and Disposal (EPRD) of seven platform topsides, seven jackets, and 22 conductors. A total of five barge loads carrying Sable platform components, weighing approximately 48,000 metric tons, were towed across the Atlantic by the Heerema tugs Kolga and Bylgia. 

30 years of history

The Sable Offshore Energy Project was developed in the late 1990s, and produced more than two trillion cubic feet of natural gas and liquids before production finished on December 31, 2018. Sable provided Nova Scotia with a new clean energy source and helped reduce the province’s reliance on coal and heavy fuel oil as primary energy sources.

Offshore removal

Thialf arrived in Canada in early April and mobilized to the Sable Field on May 1 to begin executing a sequence of separate lifts of platform components using a reverse-installation method.


Components were typically transported from the Sable Field to Chedabucto Bay to be prepared (sea-fastened) before their transatlantic voyage. After dismantling at the ABLE UK decommissioning yard in Hartlepool, England approximately 99 percent of the material will be recycled primarily into steel.

Following a project delay due to the global pandemic in early 2020, an onboard crew of approximately 300 international and domestic workers, aided by support vessels and helicopters, completed the work. The removals campaign involved multiple crew changes and was completed safely and without a single case of COVID-19. We operate safely, and the welfare of our offshore personnel and the local Nova Scotia communities was our top priority throughout this campaign. 

Key information


Contract signed: March 27, 2017

Offshore start date: May 1, 2020
Offshore end date: November 11, 2020

Technical data

Jacket preparations:

Core drill; Super grinder; Chop saw; Hydraulic scissor

Jacket removal:

Internal Lifting Tools (ILTs) 3,800 metric tons; Diamond wire saw; Abrasive water jetting

Conductor removal: 

Dual-core drilling; ILTs

Main spread

SSCV Thialf

Tugs: Bylgia; Kolga

Barges: H-591, H-542, H-541 and H-407

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Anthony Fievez
Anthony Fievez

Commercial Manager Decommissioning

Get in touch!
Sable Island Exxonmobil 2-1

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