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    CSO Deep Blue goes to work

    Vessel & ROV News // September 21, 2001
    Coflexip Stena Offshore says its new deepwater pipelay and subsea construction vessel, the CSO Deep Blue, has commenced operations on the Williams Banjo/Seahawk project in the Gulf of Mexico after successfully mobilising for the first time at CSO's new spoolbase in Mobile, Alabama. The vessel is to install the Boomvang and Nansen fields deepwater export pipelines.

    The CSO Deep Blue is to undertake the installation contract of the export pipelines for the Boomvang and Nansen fields (which are located in 3,600ft (1,100m) of water in the East Breaks blocks 643 and 602) to a platform located in 365ft (110m) of water in the Galveston area, block 244.

    The CSO Deep Blue's contract includes the installation of more than 100 miles of rigid pipeline and steel catenary risers (SCRs), with diameters ranging from 12in to 18in, and tie-in to the fields SPAR platforms using SCRs.

    The vessel started operating from CSO's newly established rigid pipe spoolbase in Mobile, after having successfully completed deepwater pipelaying trials in the Atlantic Ocean and in the North Sea.

    The new spoolbase base will support her offshore pipelay and construction work in the Gulf of Mexico, and provide a facility for assembly, storage, spooling or loading of rigid pipelines prior to installation in deepwater by CSO's two reelships, CSO DeepBlue and CSO Apache.

    Continuing to operate in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the CSO Deep Blue will further demonstrate her versatile pipelaying capabilities in 2002 and 2003, working on the NaKika project on behalf of Shell, where she will install the deepest ever pipe-in-pipe system using the J-Lay solution, and the deepest ever fully reeled SCR, as well as the deepest ever pipe-in-pipe SCR.

    At 206.50m overall, the CSO Deep Blue has a moulded breadth of 32m and transit speed of 13kt. She is capable of operating in waters of up to 2,500m (8,202ft), handling rigid reeled pipe of 4-18in outer diameter, flexible pipe of 2-16in inner diameter, rigid J-lay of 4-30in outer diameter, and umbilicals of 70mm-250mm (2.75" to 9.84").

    The CSO Deep Blue's maximum pipe payload is 10,000 Te, consisting of a combination of rigid lines (two reels), 5,000 Te; flexible lines/umbilicals (two carousels) 2,000t and 1,500t; portable reels (eight reels), 8 x 300t; rigid pipe strings, 4,000t; subsea structures, 3,000t; and has a heavy lift capability of 400t. CSO Deep Blue also has a large moonpool with a clear opening of 7.5m x 15m long (24ft x 49ft), with J-ramp over the moonpool, allowing the laying of umbilicals, flexible pipe, rigid reeled pipe, or rigid in J-lay.

    Her total traction capacity is 550 Te (2 x 275 Te) dynamic loading, and the traction capacity can be extended to 700 Te for J-lay purposes.

    CSO has also recently announced that CSO Deep Blue will play a key role in another major pipelay contract, working on behalf of Coflexip Stena Offshore Inc, which has been awarded a large EPCI contract by Williams Energy Services for the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of two 18in export pipelines from the Devils Tower field development, which is located in 5,700ft (1,750m) of water in Block 773 of the Gulf of Mexico.

    This contract comprises project management, engineering, procurement and installation of two export pipelines consisting of 160 miles of 18in pipeline, 12 miles of 14in pipeline and two 14in steel catenary risers (SCR).

    CSO will also be responsible for hooking up of the SCRs to the new-built Dominion Exploration Devils Tower Spar, diving work in the shallow waters and all pre-commissioning activities on the oil and gas export lines including pigging, hydrotest and drying of the gas export line.

    The pipelines for this job will also be fabricated by CSO at its new spoolbase at Mobile, Alabama, and the CSO Deep Blue, using the reel lay method will complete the installation. Installation is scheduled to take place in the second half of 2002 with the riser hook-up being completed in January 2003.

    The two reeled SCRs to be installed to the new Devils Tower Spar in 5,700ft (1,750m) will be the deepest 14in SCRs installed to date.

    Svein Eggen, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of the Coflexip Stena Offshore Group, stated: "This significant contract is the third to be awarded to the CSO Deep Blue in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It further demonstrates... why CSO decided to build this new unit three years ago".

    "She serves our clients' needs in developing deepwater fields, thanks to the unique combination of installation options she offers: rigid reeled or J-Lay pipelines or flexible lines," concluded Eggen.

    Construction of the CSO Deep Blue started in July 1999 at Hyundai Mipo shipyard in Korea. The contract for the supply of the ship's pipelay system was awarded in November 1999, and the ship was christened in February 2001. She was delivered in March of this year, and started work in the Gulf of Mexico this summer.

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