InterMoor completes work on Shell’s new FPSO in Gulf of Mexico

Turritella FPSO
Turritella FPSO

InterMoor, an Acteon company, has completed the final tensioning and chain cutting operations on the FPSO Turritella for the Shell Stones project, located in the Walker Ridge protraction area in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

InterMoor stated in a press release on Wednesday that the FPSO Turritella will connect to subsea infrastructure located beneath approximately 9500 ft (2896 m) of water, breaking the existing water depth record for an oil and gas production facility. This ultra-deep water project marks the first FPSO for Shell in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and only the second FPSO in the area after the FPSO BW Pioneer operating on Petrobras’ Cascade & Chinook fields.

Having arrived in January 2016, the Turritella is a disconnectable turret moored FPSO with nine mooring lines consisting of chain and polyester, arrayed in three bundles of three. The mooring lines were attached to a disconnectable Buoyant Turret Mooring (BTM) buoy in field, awaiting the FPSO’s arrival.

Each mooring leg has an in-line mooring connector (ILMC) tensioning system, located approximately 900 ft below the surface, which was pre-tensioned after connection to the BTM. Once the Turritella arrived, and the BTM was recovered by the FPSO, InterMoor’s work scope consisted of chain final tension adjustments through the ILMC system, subsequent cut and removal of excess chain, and riser pull-in rope stretching and transfer to the FPSO.

InterMoor used the Seacor Keith Cowan anchor-handling vessel (AHV) to perform the first phase of the operations and later moved to a larger construction vessel already on charter and on standby.

Tom Fulton, global president, InterMoor, said, “We were able to successfully provide full project management and engineering, including: design, procedures, procurement, dock support, offshore equipment and personnel for all phases. Our team also designed installation aids and fabricated them in our Morgan City facility, in Louisiana.”

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