Italy’s Saipem SpA will establish a spool base on Greenwood Island in Pascagoula, Mississippi, to support vessels performing pipelay activities for offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico
The new spool base will produce long lengths of pipe that are welded together and reeled on to a pipelay vessel. One of the vessels to be supported will be Saipem’s dynamic positioning class 3 pipelay construction vessel Saipem Constellation, capable of installing rigid and flexible pipes in ultra-deep waters and performing heavy lifts of 3,000 tonnes.
Saipem acquired Saipem Constellation (ex Lewek Constellation) last year for US$275M to pursue subsea tie-back initiatives in the Gulf of Mexico and the North and Norwegian Sea. Built in 2013, Saipem Constellation has a length overall of 178 m, beam of 46 m and depth of 15.6 m, with a 3,000-tonne capacity Huisman offshore mast crane and a multi-lay system that can support both rigid and non-rigid pipelines.
Under a long-term lease, Saipem’s spool base will be located in a dedicated area within the facilities of ST Engineering Halter Marine & Offshore, sister company to shipyard VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The spool base will be equipped with advanced welding machines, non-destructive testing facilities, and field joint coating systems. It will also be designed to handle complex projects such as pipe-in-pipe and HDPE liners.
Using Saipem Constellation to lift fully loaded reels on board, the stalking and spooling process at the new spool base can be decoupled from vessel loading operations, optimising vessel and installation schedules.
“The spool base supports Saipem’s growth in the deepwater field development sector as well as consolidating the importance of our activities in the Gulf of Mexico area, with a locally based approach and resident assets,” said Saipem America president and chief executive Giorgio Martelli.
“Saipem’s spool-base operations complement our regular activities of drill rig upgrades and ship repairs. This collaboration will leverage the capabilities of both parties to provide high standards of support to our customers operating in the Gulf of Mexico,” said ST Engineering Halter Marine & Offshore president and chief executive Lim Nian Hua.
The new spool base will be ready for H2 2020, according to a Saipem spokesperson.