Delmar, Shell Success in Ultra-Deepwater

3-D layout of a mooring ship

Delmar Systems, Inc. and Shell Exploration & Production Company established another world record depth for moored vessels, shattering the old record by nearly 221 feet.

The new build, semi-submersible drilling rig RB Deepwater Nautilus was moored in 7,790 feet in the Gulf of Mexico using a Delmar Suction Anchor System and Delmar’s single-vessel installation procedure. The deepest anchor was in 8,400 feet.

The new record broke the previous record of 7,569 feet set by Delmar and Shell earlier this year with the Transocean Marianas.
The current mooring system consists of eight, 12-foot diameter by 60-foot long suction anchors embedded in the seafloor and attached to 12,000 feet of 3¾” wire rope with the specially designed Delmar Subsea Connector. In addition, each leg of the preset mooring system includes three submersible syntactic foam buoys.

The world record installation was accomplished using only one anchor handling vessel, the Gary Chouest, owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, Inc. The eight mooring legs were pre-installed, allowing for quick connection once the rig arrived on location.

“Using this innovative suction anchor system reinforces Delmar’s commitment as a global leader in mooring technology in ultra deep water,” said Matt Smith, Delmar’s Operations Vice President. “The ability to moor conventional semis in ultra deep water has been non-existent until this technology was fully developed. The Delmar single-vessel installation concept played a major role in making this a cost-effective alternative for ultra deep water mooring.”