World's largest pipelayer coming to U.S. Gulf

Castorone350APRIL 10, 2013—The world’s largest pipelay vessel—more than three American football fields long—will be  coming to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil.

Owned by Italy’s Saipem, the M/V Castorone currently is  contracted for work on three projects in the Gulf of  Mexico: Amberjack Pipeline’s 219-km-long Walker Ridge  export pipeline; Enbridge’s 60-km-long Big Foot lateral  export pipeline; and the 350-km-long Keathley Canyon gas  export pipeline.

Following completion of that work, the Castorone will  move to the Santos Basin offshore Brazil to lay Petrobras’  Tupi NE-Cabiunas 380-km-long trunkline in depths to  2,230 m.

Classification society ABS reports in its Energy News that  Saipem’s MV Castorone is designed for installation of  large-diameter pipe in deep and ultra-deep water as well as  extreme environments, including the Arctic.

The Castorone is classed by ABS as +A1, (E), +AMS,  +ACCU, +TCM, CRC, HELIDK, UWILD, ICE CLASS  A0 + BALTIC, ICE 1A, +DP-3. The vessel has a length of  330 meters (excluding its ramp/stinger) and breadth of 39  meters, with a displacement of 100,000 tons at maximum  operational draft of 10 meters.

The Castorone can S-lay pipes up to 60 inches in diameter,  prefabricating pipe strings 36 m long with the capability of
joining 2 by 18-m-long pipes as an alternative to 3 by 12 m  conventional joints. The vessel will be equipped for the
future addition of a fixed tower for ”J” laying pipe. The  stinger is specifically designed for any pipe diameter and  water depth through continuous control of the overbend  stresses in the pipe.

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