Moorings Case Study

Streamlining moorings installation in Americas' deep waters

Flexible alternative for mooring installation


A new Floating Production Unit (FPU) was to be moored in the Gulf of Mexico, at depths of 1,200m (4000ft). The operator was looking for an efficient polyester rope installation package that would minimise the number of port calls required to carry out the hook up. Aware of MDL and Jumbo's unique package and its successful track record from a previous project in the Brazilian deepwaers, the operator turned to us for this solution.

MDL Solution

The operation was performed using an MDL mooring spread mobilised on-board Jumbo’s Heavy Load Carrier, the Fairplayer. The MDL spread consisted of a Generation 1 Reel Drive System and level winder for precise transpooling of mooring line ropes from a total of 24 transport reels onto a purpose-built, heavy-duty deployment reel; as well as a Generation 2 Reel Drive System for the overside installation of the product. The specialist 8.6m OD installation reel was designed by MDL’s in-house engineering team and features a spoked section to separate the polyester rope and mooring chain. The reel had a dual function on the project: firstly, allowing the transpooling of the product from the storage reels under back tension, and secondly for deployment of the lines overboard.


The polyester rope transport reels were mobilised on deck in two parallel bays, allowing for 15 reels to be handled on the top deck, with the remaining reels deployed from the middle deck. This meant that the complete mooring line system was installed during a single offshore trip, with no port calls in between. Paul Marshall, MDL Project Engineer, said: “Considering the number of reels to be deployed, the combination of a large back deck and our compact but highly capable equipment resulted in a fit-for-purpose solution that was much more efficient than using traditional approaches, such as deploying an Anchor Handler. “The Fairplayer’s combined footprint on the upper and middle deck meant that the complete installation was performed in a single trip - reducing the cost and impacts of port calls, transit and the overall length of the mission.”

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Looking for a leaner approach?

The MDL back-deck equipment range offers an alternative solution to conventional mooring installation/recovery methods, using vessels of opportunity. Tap into our Project Management and Engineering expertise to explore how we can reduce the costs of your offshore campaign.

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