MDL Delivers Its Biggest Reel Drive System to Oceaneering

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

The modular system will 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 and joins Oceaneering’s global fleet of flex-lay equipment.

Rated for over 1300-tonne DWL (dynamic working load), the RDS is rated for handling 14m diameter reels weighing 800 tonnes under dynamic, sea-state conditions. 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.

This latest third-generation unit is the biggest delivered by MDL to date, and takes the flex-lay equipment provider’s tally of fully-electrical deck systems across the 50th mark. The original third-generation 350-tonne unit, forming part of MDL Offshore Service, 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: “Oceaneering’s mission is to provide the best value and service to our customers, regardless of market conditions.

“This is why we continue to invest in our assets, and 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 mobilisation 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 mobilisation times and reduced manual handling.

“This asset – which has been delivered on budget and ahead of schedule, will allow Oceaneering to offer our cost-cutting technology to operators worldwide.

“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.

“This system is the result of continual discussions with our clients to understand what can save time – and therefore project cost – and to come up with the best solution for their business needs.

“This ongoing dialogue has opened our eyes to new ways of improving back-deck operations and has already driven us to investigate new products where technology could deliver further savings.”

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