Salvaging a downed oil platform takes months, as a team of divers cuts apart the rig and a derrick hauls each piece to the surface. The VB10000 salvages platforms from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. The novel floating lift system can remove an entire rig in a few hours, for a quarter of the price.
Last fall, Versabar’s $100-million monster completed its first lift off the coast of Louisiana.
Divers connected hooks to the platform trusses, cut the platform legs away, and four hoists picked the whole thing up. About as wide as a football field and as tall as a 25-story building, the VB10000 is desperately needed—U.S. regulators have identified 1,800 rigs that must be removed within 10 years.