Q4000 Reduces Costs on Its First Project

The Q4000, the semi-submersible multi-service vessel that Cal Dive International, Inc. built to reduce the cost of deepwater construction and well intervention, has successfully completed her first assignment on a Gulf of Mexico field development in 3,725 fsw.

Mariner Energy contracted Cal Dive to complete the installation of two rigid steel jumpers, including one subsea wet gas meter and electrical flying leads, for the King Kong / Yosemite subsea field development in Green Canyon blocks 472 and 516. Mariner and Agip Petroleum, the U.S. upstream subsidiary of Eni, SpA, each hold a 50% interest in the fields.

Canyon Offshore, a Cal Dive subsidiary, performed the ROV tasks for the project. Canyon used a 150-hp Venom ROV, capable of working in water depths to 10,000 fsw, and a Triton XL, which operates to 6,500 fsw. The project was completed on schedule.

Dave Huber, Senior Vice President of Operations for Mariner Energy, said, "Mariner and Agip never questioned the technical ability of the Q4000 to perform the work. However, we were surprised at the efficiency of the contracting process and the bottom-line, overall cost-effectiveness of the vessel for even a small operation such as this. We were pleased with the performance. The crew and the whole management process worked very smoothly."

"Although the project for Mariner barely scratched the surface of the Q4000's capabilities, we're pleased that the vessel got off to a great start," said Wayne J. Bywater, Vice President of Deepwater Business Development.

The $180 million flagship of the Cal Dive deepwater fleet is en route to waters offshore Brazil transporting a compressor module for Petrobras' Merluza platform and other offshore contracting work. Pecten Brazil Exploration Company, an affiliate of Shell Oil Co., is acting as technical advisor to Petrobras for the Merluza Project.