World's Largest PLV

New Wave Media

November 8, 2013

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The extraordinary growth of the world subsea market over the past decade and the raising demand for O&G plays in deep and ultra-deep waters to begin production and for the deep and ultra-deep water drilling to continue in Brazil, at the GoM and in WA, has led to the development of a range of new offshore field development and support vessels, including a large new pipelay vessel, currently laying its pipelines along the GoM.

Since 2012 Saipem has been operating the MV CastorOne, it is a ship-shaped pipelay vessel with an overall length of 330 m (excluding stinger) and DP 3 capable. The CastorOne was classed by ABS (American Bureau of Standards) and is also Ice classed, capable of berthing 700. The CastorOne is currently the largest PLSV at sea and is officially classed as a PCV (Pipelay Crane Vessel) and was designed to transit at speeds of up to 13 knot, allowing it to reduce the downtime, usually caused by long transits.

The CastorOne can prefabricate pipe strings 36m long and is capable of laying up to 60” pipes in S-lay mode or up to 36m pipes, with the capability of joining two 18m pipes as an alternative to the 3 by 12m conventional joints, in J-lay mode. With her unique J-lay tower capacity of 2,500 t installed, CastorOne can deploy pipelines and trunklines in water depth down to 3,000 m. The stinger is specifically designed for any pipe diameter and water depth through continuous control of the overbend stresses on the pipe. The MV CastorOne is currently contracted for three projects at the GoM:

• Amberjack Pipeline’s 219-km-long Walker Ridge export pipeline;

• Enbridge’s 60-km-long Big Foot lateral export pipeline;

• Keathley Canyon’s 350-km-long gas export pipeline.

Following completion of that work, the CastorOne will move to the Santos Basin in Brazil to lay Petrobras’ 380km (236 mile) Lula NE to Cabiúnas trunkline to the coast of Rio de Janeiro, in depths to 2,230 meters (7.316 feet). It will be the first major trunkline connecting Brazil's offshore pre-salt plays to the coast.


CastorOne Process Video -



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Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.
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