Saipem to establish a spool-base in the US Gulf of Mexico

Source: press release, 5 August 2019

The ‘Saipem Constellation’, an ultra deepwater rigid and flexible pipelay, heavy lift, construction DP 3 vessel
The ‘Saipem Constellation’, an ultra deepwater rigid and flexible pipelay, heavy lift, construction DP 3 vessel (photo: Saipem)

Saipem will establish a spool-base on Greenwood Island, Pascagoula, Mississippi. A spool-base is a facility which allows long lengths of pipe to be welded together before reeling them onto a pipelay vessel.

The Saipem spool-base will be a highly specialised site designed to provide support for vessels performing pipelay activities for offshore oil and gas development projects.

With a focus on the Gulf of Mexico, the new spool-base will support the Saipem Constellation, the latest addition to the Saipem fleet, suitable for the installation of rigid and flexible pipes in ultradeep waters as well as for heavy lifts of up to 3,000 tonnes.

Under a long-term agreement, the Saipem spool-base is in a dedicated area within the facilities of ST Engineering Halter Marine & Offshore, Inc.

The spool-base will be equipped with advanced welding machines, non-destructive testing (NDT) facilities, and field joint coating systems (FJC). It will also be structured to deal with complex projects such as pipe-in-pipe and HDPE liners.

Leveraging the unique ability of the Saipem Constellation to lift fully loaded reels on-board, the stalking (joining of pipes into long strings) and spooling (the winding of stalks onto reels) process at the new spool-base can be decoupled from vessel loading operations, thus 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,” says Giorgio Martelli, President and CEO of Saipem America Inc.

“We are pleased to be working with Saipem America on this exciting development within our facility in Pascagoula. 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,” says Lim Nian Hua, President and CEO of ST Engineering Halter Marine & Offshore.