Connector Installation On Mirage No Sweat for Balltec

Balltec Ltd the UK based supplier of Mechanical connectors, Pipeline recovery tools, Bend Stiffener Connectors and Lifting Tools has just completed its shipment of Permanent Subsea Mooring Connectors (SMC) to Intermoor Inc for Installation on the ATP Telemark Hub floating drilling production facility, also known as Mirage.

The facility will be moored in 4000 feet of water in Block MC-941, Gulf of Mexico. The connectors supplied by Balltec can be disconnected at any time during the design life of the facility should the need arise.

Designed with a minimum break load of 3500kips the Balltec connectors will link the driven piles and ground chain via long term mooring shackles.

The Connectors are supplied in two distinct assemblies. The receptacle assembly is attached to the pile via a short length of chain and was supplied several months ago. The male assembly is deployed on the end of the mooring line and allows a rapid, heave tolerant, top entry connection without the need for any ROV intervention.

Balltec have quickly established a strong position within the subsea mooring connector market due to the revolutionary design of their BREM (Ball & Roller Engagement Mechanism) connectors. Drawing upon over 40 years of experience in the design of such equipment Balltec's team of engineers have developed a design of SMC offering substantial benefits over similar systems. Detailed work has lead to an optimised design of ball and taper interface offering a much more robust and compact tool with significant cost savings.

Incorporating Balltec's patented triple lock design the BREM SMC's offer unrivalled ease of installation and integrity of connection for permanent and temporary installations. Extensive testing of the BREM connectors has conclusively proved the integrity of the system during extreme conditions including zero load and impact upon the seafloor.

Suitable for use in the mooring lines of floating production systems in conjunction with all anchor types and deployment methods Balltec SMC's have been installed on the following projects, ATP Gomez, Chevron Blind Faith, AED Puffin FPSO, Kikeh Development Drilling, Kikeh Pipeline (FLET tie back to suction pile), Esso Angola Saxi Batuque (FLET tie back to suction pile). Upcoming projects include Chevron Tombua Landana (Angola) and Shell BC-10 Development drilling (Brazil).

Using a standard well-proven connection system in conjunction with a bespoke customer interface to either Shackles, H-Links or directly to mooring chain. Each design of connector is subjected to an independent FEA study and fatigue assessment by Det Norske Veritas and tested and approved by the relevant certification authority in accordance with the rules for certification of offshore mooring chain.

Balltec SMC's are available in sizes up to 4000mT MBL.