Offshore coiled tubing on remote unmanned (and crane-less) platforms, requires reliable and precise lifting operations for project success and safety. Traditional methods of supporting coiled tubing operations might involve a large vessel or barge crane, which can be costly. However, advancements in portable-modular crane technology have unlocked efficiencies in supporting activities on remote platforms, offering flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced safety.


Case Summary

Our client, a leading energy company, faced challenges with their offshore coiled tubing operations. Specifically with regard to the crane needed to lift the  CTU equipment and materials onto their offshore platform.  The platform itself was only equipped with a small 1.8-ton jib crane which was insufficient for the project requirements (the coiled tubing reel by itself weighed 16 tons).

One solution would be to mobilize a vessel or barge equipped with a crane; however, this solution can be costly and inefficient.  If the crane barge is not nearby then mobilization is costly and time-consuming.  In addition, utilizing a barge crane with a 250-ton capacity to lift only 16 tons is inefficient.

Thunder Cranes offered a solution that eliminated the need to mobilize a costly barge or vessel crane. Our portable modular crane could be mobilized on a small supply vessel, and once on site it can be rigged up, load tested, and ready to begin lifting operations within 24 hours.  The advantage of our proposed solution would be to streamline our client’s logistics and enhance project uptime, while maintaining a high level of safety and cost-effectiveness.

The 16-ton coiled tubing reel was the heaviest item in the package

Challenges & Solutions

Challenge #1 – Remote offshore platform and main deck with limited space. This challenge required the solution of a self-sufficient modular rental crane with a small footprint, and compact, hydraulic powerpack/prime mover.

Challenge #2 – Coiled tubing equipment to be lifted from supply boat to platform main deck with the coil reel weight of 16-tons. This challenge required the TC20 stiff leg crane with a 60-ft boom length.

Challenge #3 – A small platform jib crane of 1.8-ton capacity and limited reach. This makes it difficult to rig up a 3rd party rental crane and required the solution of a “Self-Lifting” package – a challenge for which Thunder Cranes is uniquely equipped to deal with due to our proprietary systems.

Self lifting packages allow Thunder Cranes to deploy on crane-less platforms without assistance

Self lifting packages allow Thunder Cranes to deploy on crane-less platforms


Our process starts with a thorough assessment of the client’s lifting requirements, platform drawings, general specifications, and project timelines. A site visit is then conducted to verify that an appropriate and practical solution can be proposed.

Our team proposed the TC05 crane (with 30ft boom) and the TC20 crane (with 60ft boom) as a “self-lifting package”.   In our self-lifting system, the TC05 acts as the pick-up crane for rigging up TC20.

Both cranes are designed to be compact, modular, easily transportable, quick to rig up, and can be tied-down to structural platform beams via clamping systems.  These characteristics make them ideal for offshore applications.

Our proposal and quotation come with a Site Visit Report to clearly communicate the proposed method with drawings and photos.

After the proposal is given the green light, we begin the detailed planning stage where we collaborate with the client to customize elements of the project in terms of materials, equipment, 3rd party services, utilities, scaffolding, etc.  Customization can include any platform modifications if needed, or any re-positioning, or removal of elements from the main deck of the platform. Furthermore, our modular crane configuration is customized to meet specific needs with regards to the tied down method, boom reach radius, zone rating, or any other safety or environmental considerations.

In the next step an engineering work pack is submitted to the client addressing the specific scope of work and lifting requirements, featuring detailed considerations from the site visit, with comprehensive rig up and lifting plans, customized layout and positioning drawings, as well as reaction force calculations needed to conduct a structural analysis.

Pre-mobilization planning includes risk assessment/hazard identification, and alignment sessions are conducted for offshore personnel to ensure safe and efficient operation of the modular cranes.

Depending on the project location, the preparation and deployment of the modular cranes and auxiliary equipment might begin months ahead to ensure cranes are at the load out port and ready to be transported to the offshore site and assembled according to the pre-planned schedule and project configuration.  In this case our load out location was from Miri, Sarawak.


  • TC05 modular crane was transported offshore for assembly on the platform first.
  • TC05 components are lifted from the supply vessel to the platform main deck using the platform jib crane. The TC05 components and auxiliary equipment all weigh less than 1.8-tons.
  • TC05 was assembled and load tested, it was then used to offload the TC20 components from the supply vessel.  The TC20 components all weigh less than 5-tons.
  • TC20 is then rigged up on the platform main deck with the assistance of the TC05.
  • TC05 is then rigged down and offloaded to the supply vessel to make space on the platform for the CTU equipment.
  • CTU equipment is picked up from the supply vessel and rigged up on the platform main deck with the assistance of the TC20.
  • TC20 remained on the main deck to support operations as needed until the well services project was completed.


  • Enhanced efficiency – The use of portable modular cranes enabled timely deployment, rig up and commencement of lifting operations, thereby accelerating project timelines.
  • Cost savings – Compared to barge cranes, our small modular approach offered cost savings in terms of equipment rental, transportation and manpower.
  • Improved safety –  Compared to barge cranes, our modular cranes are not subject to dynamic sea conditions since they are rigged up on a static platform. Static lifting minimized the risk of accidents and injuries during lifting operations.


By leveraging portable modular cranes from Thunder Cranes, our client successfully optimized their well services project, achieving greater efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness. This case study highlights the transformative impact of innovative lifting solutions for unlocking productivity gains in offshore operations.

  • Lifting Solution for Offshore Coiled Tubing
  • Platform jib crane only 1.8MT capacity
  • 16MT Coiled Tubing Reel
  • Small Main Platform Deck
Our Service
  • TC20 modular rental crane
  • TC05 rig up assist crane
  • Crane Operators
  • Detailed Planning & Preparation
  • Cost effective, efficient lifting solutions
  • Self-lifting package
  • Right-sized for the project
  • South China Sea, Malaysia