Deepwater exploration and production is one of the biggest technical challenges facing the oil and gas industry.
Quality and reliability of the mooring components is critical. Indeed the cost of installation of a deepwater mooring system typically exceeds the cost of the mooring system hardware, as a result Offspring International is working to develop components that are durable, easy to handle and reduce the installation time to enable cost effective, deepwater mooring.
Synthetic fibre ropes offer significant advantages over conventional steel wire and chain lines in deepwater moorings. Synthetic fibre rope mooring lines are considerably lighter than steel spiral strand wire, more versatile and require less chain to enable taut moorings to be deployed. In addition, the taut leg mooring systems provide larger horizontal stiffness and a reduced seabed footprint at lower cost.
Deepwater Mooring Line Intergrity
The 'typical' deepwater mooring line comprises an anchor or pile capable of resisting vertical uploads (conventional piles and anchors only need resist horizontal loads); shackles, chains, connecting links, steel wire and synthetic rope. The synthetic or polyester rope is usually split into segments interconnected with H-links or the LankoFirst connector to achieve the desired total mooring rope length.
Continued improvements in lightweight mooring rope performance by Lankhorst Ropes Offshore Division are producing longer, complete lengths of rope. At present Lankhorst Ropes can produce 80 tonne reels of polyester rope which equates to approximately 9,800 ft (3000 m) continuous rope on a single reel.
Major deepwater mooring projects handled by Offspring International have included included: Thunder Hawk, DeepDraft semi, and Tahiti, production Spar, both located in the Gulf of Mexico.