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First Subsea and Offspring International Announce Plans to Develop Next Generation of Deepwater Mooring Systems and Connectors

25 February 2009

Subsea mooring connector specialist First Subsea Ltd and leading mooring systems company, Offspring International Ltd have announced plans to jointly develop the next generation of subsea mooring systems, designed specifically for deepwater projects.

With offshore production moving to increasingly deeper waters, the ease and speed of mooring installation has become critical. Until now operators and installation contractors have relied on mooring technologies originally developed for shallower waters. As a result they are often faced with unnecessary and costly delays as the mooring systems fail to keep pace with the challenges posed by deepwater mooring environments. The First Subsea and Offspring International joint development is intended to produce mooring systems and connectors that are easier and simpler to install than current products.

Both First Subsea and Offspring International are proven suppliers to deepwater moored production facilities. First Subsea supplies ball and taper-based Ballgrab mooring connectors and recently set a new depth record for its connectors on the Shell Perdido project at a depth of 8,637ft (2,632 m).

First Subsea, general manager, Brian Green commented, “There is a real need for mooring systems that better reflect the rigours of installing in deepwater. They need to be designed specifically for this environment, lighter and less complex and, as a result, delivering higher performance than existing systems. Working with Offspring International we are able to bring together the complementary skills and technologies in mooring and connector technology that will allow us to develop the next generation of deepwater mooring systems.”

Offspring International supplies mooring systems and is the worldwide agent for Quintas & Quintas, the offshore fibre rope division of Lankhorst Ropes and the world's No.1 manufacturer of deepwater polyester mooring tethers. Offspring International also collaborates closely with Sanmar Chain International Pte Ltd who supply offshore grade chain. The company provided the mooring chain and shackles for the Dominion Devils Tower Spar, at 5600ft (1,707m) in the Mississippi Canyon of the Gulf of Mexico.

David Rowley, director, Offspring International said, “Our experience tells us that we need to find a way of making deepwater connections easier to install than existing technology. Although there are other companies offering subsea connectors, they lack First Subsea's engineering skills, project management, technical know-how and commitment to quality. Working with First Subsea will make Offspring International a more complete supplier of deepwater mooring systems.”