As part of a one-year project to provide mooring and positioning support operations for Shell do Brasil, InterMoor do Brasil Ltda (InterMoor) has recently beaten the depth record for conventional mooring offshore Brazil with a water depth of 6,650ft (2,027m).
The project is for the mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) Noble Clyde Boudreaux and will run until the middle of 2012. Operations focus on the Campos and Santos basins, but could be in any location off Brazil’s southeast coast in water depths ranging from 1,968 to 7,545ft (600 to 2300m).
Andre Oliveira, project manager at InterMoor said that there were challenges: "Working with Shell, everything is planned in minute detail. This planning is essential if new boundaries have to be broken, such as the previous water depth record for conventional mooring offshore Brazil at 6,610ft (2015m) and two of the eight anchors moored at 6,650ft (2027m)."
The contract covers the provision of engineering mooring analysis reports and conventional mooring. InterMoor designs mooring patterns for the Noble Clyde Boudreaux at every drilling rig location. This involves a mix of open-water exploration work and mooring around subsea assets.
InterMoor assisted Shell in defining the anchor-handling vessel specifications for the programme based on the final mooring system design and supplies mooring coordinators, engineers and survey personnel on the rig and anchor-handling vessels to supervise and direct mooring system deployment, retrieval and connection to the rig. Because of the water depths and the high loads, the anchor-handling vessels are high power with bollard pulls of 265Mt and are fitted with 9,842ft (3,000m) work wires. The planning also considered the availability of mooring element spares as a critical measure to prevent unexpected major delays to operations. InterMoor also participates in planning workshops and advises Shell and Noble staff on mooring optimisation.