MDL delivers its largest reel drive system to Oceaneering

Subsea services provider Oceaneering International has taken delivery of an 800-tonne safe working load (SWL) reel drive system (RDS) from Maritime Developments (MDL).

The company said that the modular system would be used to deploy and retrieve SURF products (subsea umbilicals, risers, and flowlines) on board the company’s new-built multi-service vessel, Ocean Evolution.

The RDS, able to handle over 1,300-tonne dynamic working load, is rated for handling 14m diameter reels weighing 800-tonnes under dynamic, sea-state conditions. According to Oceaneering, the unit is the biggest delivered by MDL to date.

The RDS can handle multiple reels as well as skid fully loaded reels up and down a dedicated track system with integrated reel cradle and support grillage. It comes with completely self-contained electric variable frequency drive package and a fire-proof control cabin to conform with U.S. Coast Guard requirements as well as a Walk-About-Box.

The original third-generation 350-tonne unit was first used as part of a complete MDL flex-lay spread on North Sea’s Kraken field in autumn 2015.

Conrad Picou, global supply manager at Oceaneering, said: “[…]the addition of this RDS will strengthen our offering to operators worldwide. It will complement our existing equipment and deliver more efficient handling and reduced mobilization time to provide far-reaching cost-savings to our clients.”

Derek Smith, MDL CEO, said: “Oceaneering were looking for a system that would make best use of the deck space on their new vessel, alongside the benefits of the shorter mobilization times and reduced manual handling.

“After the success of our 350-tonne third-generation RDS, which demonstrated the time savings achievable with smart equipment design, we were keen to provide the same returns on our larger-scale equipment.”