The Rebirth Of a Crane

Would refurbishment of an offshore pipe handling crane be more as opposed to purchasing a new one?

Oceaneering was asked to review and provide a redesign and upgrade for an offshore pipe handling crane. Our customer had received a quote for a replacement crane, but wanted to see if it would be commercially viable to refurbish the crane rather than purchase a new one.


Vår Energy (Point Resources)




Europe, Norway

Work Scope

  • GAP analysis
  • Offshore decommissioning
  • Full refurbishment
  • Updating Instruction manuals and inventory lists
  • Testing and certification
Crane 2

1 Project Overview

The overall condition of the crane was poor, with many parts requiring full replacement to meet current industry standards.

To refurbish the crane, Oceaneering sandblasted and painted the crane’s equipment and facilities, including the telescope cylinder, bandura-bolts, slewing ring, HVAC, electrical installations, gratings, railings, oil cooler/oil pump and cabin. Oceaneering also conducted a failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis (FMECA) test, and updated the crane’s user manual and document packages.

2 Issues

Both cost and schedule were priorities for our customer.

Any potential cost savings achieved through refurbishment could not outweigh the urgency of having the new crane and lifting equipment ready for the project.

3 Our Solution

Oceaneering deployed a specialist team of integrity engineers to assess the viability of refurbishing the crane.

We were confident that we could save our customer time and money, but to be absolutely sure, we required the decommissioned crane to be dismantled and shipped onshore for further evaluation.

Our specialist team prepared all procedures for dismantling the crane and for lifting operations to transport the crane safely and efficiently. We also performed a GAP analysis to verify the differences between old and new standards, and provided a report to ensure any deviations were recorded in case the client chose to refurbish the crane.

FMECA analysis was performed to identify the crane’s maintenance routines and to ensure its safety and operational reliability. We then provided our customer with a full scope of work for refurbishment, which was accepted.

4 Excecution Plan

The crane was shipped to our equipped workshop at Forus, Norway, so we could dismantle and refurbish it.

We performed shot-blasting on the boom’s pedestal and crane cabin, and conducted full nondestructive testing (NDT) on all the critical parts, including thickness measurement, faced array, eddy current, and magnetic particle inspection.

All cylinders were refurbished, and all the instrumentation and the cabin’s interior was removed. New flooring, walls and roof plates were installed, and all electrical cabling was replaced. To ensure compliance with new regulations regarding ergonomics, a new chair was installed, as well as a new HVAC to improve the cabin’s air environment.

The flanges for the slewing ring were machined to ensure they met the required tolerances, and a new slewing ring was mounted with replacement bolts and refurbished gears. All hydraulic piping and electrical cables were replaced, the electrical motor for the high pressure unit was refurbished, and a new oil cooler was installed.

We assembled the crane and provided full factory acceptance testing. The user manual, the tag lists, and the maintenance plan were all updated to match current standards. Oceaneering also conducted operator training on the updated standards.

5 Challenges

The biggest challenge during the project was the test mounting onshore of the crane to its pedestal.

The procedure for applying the correct torque on the bolts proved insufficient, resulting in discussions that led to the development of a new procedure, including a special tool to apply the correct tension in the bolts to achieve the correct clamping force.

6 Results

The result was a crane fully refurbished at 50% of the cost of buying a new crane.

We provided a fully functioning refurbished crane that not only met our customers’ needs, but achieved significant cost savings compared with purchasing new equipment.

7 Project Highlights

  • Reduced costs by 50% compared to purchasing a new pipe handler crane.
  • Delivered project on an accelerated schedule, safely and cost effectively.
  • Prolonged the crane’s asset life by an estimated 10 years.

Learn more about Oceaneering's full Crane and Lifting capablities in Norway, or download a pdf of this case study.

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Contact Us | Oceaneering Refurbishes Offshore Pipe Handling Crane in Cost-Effective Manner

Company page Since our founding in the early 1960s, Oceaneering has expanded and grown globally to service several industries such as the offshore energy industry, defense, entertainment, material handling, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries. In 1964, Mike Hughes and Johnny Johnson formed a Gulf of Mexico diving company called World Wide Divers. The company grew in response to increasing demand for their services and in 1969 merged with two other diving companies to form Oceaneering International, Inc. To solve the toughest challenges, we do things differently, creatively, and smarter. As your trusted partner, our unmatched experience and truly innovative portfolio of technologies and solutions give us the flexibility to adapt and evolve, regardless of market conditions. Our mission is to solve the unsolvable. We thrive by creating industry-changing technically creative solutions for the most complex operational challenges under water, on land, and in space. Our five core values establish a common culture and demonstrate what is most important for us as a company. Since the beginning, the company has transformed from a small regional diving company into a global provider of engineered products and services. Today, we develop products and services for use throughout the lifecycle of an offshore oilfield, from drilling to decommissioning. We operate the world's premier fleet of work class ROVs. Additionally, we are a leader in offshore oilfield maintenance services, umbilicals, subsea hardware, and tooling. We also serve the aerospace, defense, and theme park industries. Underpinning everything we do, safety is not only the foundation of our core values, but it is vital to our unmatched performance record and company culture. The industries we serve are as diverse as they are complex. Whether we are engineering deepwater umbilicals or developing robotics for aerospace applications, the safety and health of our employees, vendors, and customers is an integral part of our day-to-day business. If we are working, then our responsibility is to be working safely. Since our inception in 1964, we have placed a high value on employee safety—from diving services and subsea inspection to vessel-based installation operations. We have and will continue to evolve not only our health, safety, and environmental (HSE) processes, but those of the industries in which we work. Although we have been fatality-free since 1999, our HSE journey goes beyond statistics. As our portfolio of services has grown, we have continued to prioritize and advance our approach to HSE.