Midnight Express completes sea trialsNews // November 12, 2004
Midnight Express left Mobile, Alabama, on October 29th for the testing site in the Gulf of Mexico at Destin Dome Block 60 in approximately 500ft of water. The first stage of the sea trials consisted of extensive testing of the DP systems and the electrical switchboards. All necessary requirements were met and the vessel was granted the full class certificates by Lloyd's Shipping on November 5th.
The second stage of the sea trials was the testing of the vessel's patented pipelay system. Load testing was applied on the vessel's hold off clamp, tensioners, winches, and the reel; all were confirmed positive.
To complete the trial phase of the programme, a test lay route was provided by the survey and the test pipe was initiated with a clump weight. Approximately 780m of 6in pipe was laid to the sea floor. The pipeline was retrieved and a secondary route wasthen laid. At the end of the second layout, the pipe was abandoned on the sea floor and recovered with a winch. The final stage was the complete recovery of the entire pipeline to the reel and the recovery of the clump weight.