Lankhorst delivers mooring ropes for Shell’s Appomattox

Lankhorst Ropes has completed the engineering, design, fabrication and delivery of the deepwater mooring rope for the Shell’s Appomattox project located in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. 

At over 63,000m, it is the longest ever rope meterage for a single deepwater mooring contract, according to Lankhorst’s statement on Monday.

Shell’s Appomattox unit will be a four-column semi-submersible production platform moored using 16 mooring lines arranged in 4×4 clusters, in 2,255m (7,400ft) of water approximately 130km (80 miles) offshore Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lankhorst is supplying 78 rope lengths totaling over 63,000 meters of its Gama 98 polyester deepwater mooring rope with minimum breaking strength of 21,545 kN.

The Gama 98 ropes were manufactured at Lankhorst’s factory in Viana do Castelo, Portugal. Upon contract award, a significant amount of preparation was required before production of the ropes could begin including design and installation of new equipment to handle the size and payload of the ropes.

Loading Lankhorst’s Gama 98 polyester deepwater mooring rope for the Shell Appomattox project at Viana do Castelo, Portugal.

In addition, a period of prototype rope testing was conducted to verify and prove the rope design. This testing included: breaking strength; linear density; stiffness; splice qualification and particle filter testing.

A total of 78 ropes of 273mm diameter were manufactured in lengths of 304, 762 and 914m.

Neil Schulz, sales director, Lankhorst Ropes Offshore, said: “By combining our technical expertise with the industry’s leading rope engineering and production capability, we’ve been able to meet the most demanding requirements for this showcase project.”

The final investment decision for the Shell-operated Appomattox project was made back in July 2015. The development will consist of a semi-submersible, four-column production host platform, a subsea system featuring six drill centers, 15 producing wells, and five water injection wells.

The platform will be initially producing from the Appomattox and Vicksburg fields.