Maritime Developments Ltd (MDL) and Jumbo Maritime have completed the installation of a deep water polyester mooring line in the Gulf of Mexico.
The project has moored a new floating production unit (FPU) at depths of 1,200 m (4,000 ft). The operation was carried out using an MDL dispatcher mooring mobilized on board Jumbo’s Heavy Load Carrier, the Fairplayer.
The MDL spread consisted of a Generation 1 spool drive system and level winder for precise transpooling of mooring line cords from a total of 24 haul spools onto a specially designed heavy duty deployment spool; as well as a generation 2 spool drive system for installing the product upside down.
Polyester cable haul reels were mobilized on deck in two parallel bays, allowing 15 reels to be handled on the upper deck, with the remaining reels deployed from the middle deck.
The specialist 8.6m OD rig reel was designed by MDL’s in-house engineering team and features a spoked section to separate the polyester rope and mooring chain. The reel had a double function on the project: on the one hand, to allow transpooling of the product from the storage reels under counter-tension, and on the other hand to deploy the lines overboard. The 150 Tem torque of MDL Generation 2 RDS makes it possible to manage loads of up to 75 Te, under speed in both directions.
Another custom feature designed and manufactured by MDL was a skid frame to allow the HPU to skid with Gen 1 RDS on the slopes.
This project was MDL and Jumbo’s first joint installation in the Gulf of Mexico, but follows other mooring perimeters in the Mediterranean and off Brazil in 2020-21.
Paul Marshall, MDL Project Engineer, said, “From the start, MDL and Jumbo have worked together as one team to support every customer and every mooring project every step of the way. We received superb feedback, where our teams on board and in the office were recognized for their professionalism, proactive and knowledgeable approach, and our equipment for being a good match for Jumbo’s asset.
“Given the number of reels to deploy, the combination of a large aft deck and our compact yet high performance equipment resulted in a fit for purpose solution that was far more efficient than using traditional approaches, such as deploying an Anchor Handler.
“The Fairplayer’s combined upper and mid-deck footprint means the entire installation was completed in one trip, reducing the cost and impacts of layovers, transit and overall mission time.”
Andrew Blaquiere, Managing Director of MDL, said, “I am delighted that our successful collaboration with Jumbo has improved the efficiency of a Gulf of Mexico operator and its new development start-up. This project has allowed us to demonstrate that there are alternative approaches available even for traditional operations such as moorings – and for deep water basins.
“MDL is developing a reputation for identifying new, leaner and more secure approaches to traditional operations, to help project teams meet their schedule and budget goals in an increasingly demanding market. This is exactly where we want to be.
“Our in-house combination of market-leading portable and adaptable equipment, along with PM&E talent and decades of collective expertise, allows us to effectively analyze the challenge at hand and formulate a solution – be tailored to the customer’s fleet. , or to any vessel they have convenient access to.
Meanwhile, an installation of a jacketed spiral cable (SSWR) in the APAC region uses MDL mooring with a 4-way turnbuckle as the master system to moor into an FPSO.
To date, MDL equipment has installed over 145 km of polyester rope, as well as SSWR torpedo anchor pennants and steel cables, on three continents.