Balltec Ltd, Morecambe,UK, has been contracted by Houston Offshore to supply and install 10 off MoorLOK™ subsea mooring connectors for the Tubular Bells project, located in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico.
The contract covers the manufacture of 10 off 15,000kN MoorLOK™ connectors for the mooring of the Williams floating production system (FPS), Gulfstar GS1 on the Tubular Bells field at a water depth of 4,500ft. The connectors will be manufactured in accordance with the ABS Guide for the Certification of Offshore Mooring Chain, 2009, and are due to be installed during the first half of 2013.
Martin Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at Balltec Ltd said:
‘Balltec is proud to have been awarded this significant mooring connector contract. The Tubular Bells project has been under development for some time and we are very much looking forward to working with Houston Offshore Engineering and Williams to play our part in bringing this project to first oil.’
Russell Benson, Managing Director, Balltec Ltd said:
‘The award of the Tubular Bells mooring connector package is another significant contract gain in 2012. With Tubular Bells and several other projects due to be completed next year as well as new products ready to be launched, 2013 is going to be another exciting year for Balltec.’
The Balltec MoorLOK™ is a disconnectable, subsea mooring connector designed for the temporary and permanent mooring of floating structures.
Hydratight’s Mechanical Connectors (formerly known as MORGRIP™ mechanical connectors) are used subsea in diver depths for pipeline tie-in and spool repair.
The high performance products are designed to be simple and reliable to install with key diver-friendly design features, including “hands-clear” activation and external pressure test. No connector has ever proved impossible to install subsea, and none have ever failed in service. Hydratight’s Mechanical Connectors boast a 100% leak-free in-service record with over 2500 Connectors deployed to date.
For over 30 years, Hydratight’s innovative products and services have ensured the integrity of all types of flanges and mechanical connectors. Hydratight can trace its roots back to 1901 when the Sweeney business was founded in the United States. The company’s first torque tools appeared on the scene in 1949.
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Subsea mooring connector (SMC) specialist, First Subsea has invested over £200,000 in new mooring connector test rig facilities at its production site in Lancaster, UK.
The test-rig is being used in the manufacture of ‘next generation’ SMCs for industry leading, deepwater mooring projects: the Jack & St Malo field’s semi-submersible platform and Lucius field’s Spar moorings, both in the Gulf of Mexico.
The SMC test rig is used for proof load and Minimum Breaking Load (MBL) testing up to 2,600mT (25,497 kN).
‘Next Generation’ Mooring Connectors
First Subsea leads the world in research into large scale steel forgings. In collaboration with the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Microstructural and Mechanical Process Engineering (IMMPETUS), the company has systematically improved the performance of its mooring connectors. The metals forging research is now being applied to the manufacture of the company’s latest Ballgrab Series III male connectors – the largest produced so far with an un-corroded 2,599mT (25,491kN) MBL, and compliant with the ABS Mooring Guide 2009.
“This is a significant investment that will ensure our Ballgrab subsea mooring connector continues to set the standard for deepwater moorings,” says John Shaw, managing director, First Subsea Ltd.