APRIL 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.