First Subsea to Supply 12 Ballgrab SMCs for Thunder Hawk FPU

Subsea connector specialist, First Subsea Ltd is supplying twelve Ballgrab subsea mooring connectors (SMC) to SBM Atlantia for the Thunder Hawk, semi-submersible, floating production unit (FPU) in 6,050 feet (1,800m) of water in the ultra-deep Gulf of Mexico.

The DeepDraft Semi, semi-submersible FPU will be anchored with a polyester rope-chain spread mooring system connected to twelve driven piles by Ballgrab SMCs. Designed with a minimum breaking load (MBL) of 4,046 kips (17,998kN), the Ballgrab connectors will link the driven piles and ground chain segment, interfacing directly with long-term mooring shackles. The receptacle part of the connectors will be delivered first, to be installed subsea with the piles, mounted on the docking porch. The mooring line male connectors will follow later.

"The Thunder Hawk DeepDraft Semi, floating production unit relies on its ability to accommodate the motion requirements of SCR flowlines and risers in ultra-deepwater. We selected Ballgrab mooring connectors based on their design and functionality; and experience with driven pile connections. Moreover First Subsea's commitment to independently assessed, quality systems gives us an additional level of confidence in the Ballgrab connector's ability to provide the mooring security we are looking for," said Jeff Otten, Mooring Lead Engineer, Thunder Hawk project, SBM Atlantia Offshore Ltd.

The Thunder Hawk DeepDraft Semi FPU will initially be connected to four subsea trees, two 8" diameter flowlines, one control umbilical, two 12" diameter export SCRs (oil and gas) with an option for a future gas lift umbilical. Provisions are also made to accommodate future subsea tie-backs which consist of six 8" diameter flowlines and six umbilicals to facilitate other fields/blocks in the area.

SBM Atlantia is supplying the Thunder Hawk FPU with a planned completion scheduled for late 2008. Murphy Exploration and Production Company will operate the platform on behalf of the SBM Offshore Group for itself and its co-producers Eni Petroleum US L.L.C, Hydro Gulf of Mexico, L.L.C, and Marubeni Offshore Production Company (USA)Inc. The offshore installation is planned to start mid April 2008, with the setting of mooring piles / Ballgrab connector receptacles. SBM Atlantia has awarded Aker Marine Contractors (AMC) a contract to install the spread mooring system, transport and hook up the FPU.