Photo: SBM Installer equipped with the BM-T700 and LD2500 drill; Source: Barge Master

LDD and Barge Master complete drilling ops in Caribbean Sea

Large Diameter Drilling (LDD) and Barge Master have completed drilling operations from a diving support and construction vessel (DSCV) in water depths in excess of 270 meters.

Barge Master said on Friday that the drilling operations from the vessel were a world first in such water depth.

The project was executed in the Caribbean Sea, some two kilometers off the coast of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, for Imodco Terminals, a subsidiary of SBM Offshore.

The LDD devised solution mounted the LD2500 drill rig to a cantilever beam which was subsequently affixed to the Barge Master T700 motion compensation platform.

Typically, reverse circulation drilling takes place off a jack-up barge or from the pile top itself, however, substantial water depths – ranging between 80-275 meters – challenging sea-bed conditions with slopes up to 17 degrees, as well as the physical attributes of the anchor pile design made this impossible.

The equipment spread was mobilized onboard the SBM Installer DSCV during the first quarter of 2019 in Rotterdam, after which it sailed to St. Croix.

According to the company, the installation of seven anchor piles were successfully completed by LDD to the client’s satisfaction – this included not only the drilling element, utilizing the BM-T700 platform for necessary motion compensation, but also the design and engineering pertaining to the installation, pile handling, and grouting elements.

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