Deep Down, Inc.'s proprietary Horizontal Drive Units (HDU) have played a major role and had a significant impact on offshore projects for various customers, during 2007, in the deployment and recovery of certain lighter-duty, flexible and not so flexible components of the subsea distribution system which connects offshore platforms to oil and gas wells on the ocean floor.
First introduced in 1998, the HDU was developed by Deep Down as an alternative to industry-accepted vertical drive units to specifically enable substantially quicker, safer and more cost-effective installations of steel flying leads and specialty cables.
The HDU eliminates the undesirable, and potentially hazardous, uneven tension experienced by steel flying leads and specialty cables during deployment and retrieval operations, as well as spooling, with vertical drive units. This uneven tension can often lead to balancing and other problems due to alternative cycles of slackening and tightening due to variability in the centrifugal forces that are experienced through a vertical drive unit. The use of Deep Down's HDUs also ensures quicker and safer non-permitted transportation of its proprietary Rapid Deployment Cartridges (RDCs), Subsea Deployment Baskets (SDBs) and carousels since these items can be placed on the HDU adapters with loads kept very low to the ground. After exceeding the expectations of its original design during several key installation projects over the past several years, the benefits of the HDU are receiving increasing attention in an accelerated fashion in the offshore market.
Ron Smith, Deep Down CEO, said, "Our Horizontal Drive Units have made a significant contribution on subsea projects throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Installation contractors expend large amounts of capital to outfit their vessels with dedicated, high-tension deployment and recovery equipment required to put major systems in deep water. Ease of deployment, floor-space and safety are key considerations for these contactors. Our proprietary RDCs, SDBs and carousels can each be independently attached to the HDU. These additional components, including the HDU, can be stacked, thereby, saving valuable deck space on installation vessels. This is in stark contrast to the vertical drive units of our competitors, which are non-stackable and usually fixed and non-interchangeable. The ease of removing large terminations from the roof of our carousel or wings of our RDC, while attached to a crane as it turns the last two revolutions, is also a major advantage of the horizontal system. All these benefits combine to make our HDU, and its complementary, detachable RDCs, SDBs and carousels very attractive to our customers. We are proud of the support we have rendered in 2007, and we look forward to providing even more critical support to our customers in 2008."
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