Subsea connector specialist First Subsea has set a new depth record for ball and taper mooring connectors. Ballgrab connectors have been successfully installed at a depth of 8,637 ft (2,632 m) to moor the Truss Spar for Shell’s Perdido Development project in the Gulf of Mexico, 200 miles south of Freeport, Texas in 8,000 feet (2,440m) of water.
All nine Ballgrab connectors have been installed for the nine taut-leg Chain-Polyester Rope-Chain mooring system. Designed with a minimum breaking load (MBL) of 3,880 kips (17260kN), the Ballgrab connectors are linking the Perdido suction piles and ground chain segments interfacing directly with long term mooring shackles.
The receptacle part of the connectors was installed subsea with the piles, mounted on a First Subsea connector docking porch. The insertion part of the connectors has now been installed to moor the Truss Spar.
“The First Subsea team did a great job. The Ballgrab connectors were installed on time and without any significant problems,” said Curtis J. Lohr, Perdido Spar & Mooring Team Lead.
Ballgrab mooring connectors are already in use on several Gulf of Mexico spars including Mad Dog, Red Hawk, and Constitution.