Crowley’s tugs tow-out Hess platform to Stampede oil and gas field

Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corporation successfully completed a tow-out and installation of Hess Corporation’s tension-leg platform (TLP) in the Stampede deepwater oil and gas field.

The Stampede field is located roughly 115 miles south of Fourchon, LA and sits in approximately 3,400 feet of water. Crowley Maritime began the tow-out at the Kiewit facility located in Ingleside, TX.

Crowley Maritime first used a team of tugs and barges to haul the 300 foot sections of the nine total 3,400 foot tendons that will eventually fasten the platform to the ocean floor. The vessel team for this stage consisted of Crowley’s ocean class tugboat the Ocean Wind and three of their 455-series barges.

In the second stage, Crowley used their tugs, Ocean Sun and Ocean Sky and several third-party tugs, to tow the TLP through the Ingleside Channel to a holding location in offshore waters. From there it took the team of tugs four days to haul the platform to the Stampede site.

The third stage involved positioning and stabilizing the TLP while it was secured to the tendons. Using a stationary star pattern, Crowley tugs held the platform in place with tow wires and the tug’s dynamic positioning capabilities.

Heerema, an installation contractor, joined Hess crews to complete the installation and make the TLP storm safe. After getting the green light, the Crowley tugboat team was released to return to nearshore waters.

“The tow-out and installation support work we provided was highly successful,” explained Crowley Maritime’s general manager of offshore services, Mike Rampolla. “This project was an excellent example of the types of projects Crowley’s offshore and heavy lift personnel and assets are ideally suited for. We have several future jobs in the pipeline and look forward to bringing our full capabilities together to ensure successful outcomes for our energy customers.”

The Stampede deepwater oil and gas field is the largest undeveloped field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and Hess’s floating facility will be able to pull 80,000 barrels of oil per day from the Stampede field once it is up and running.

Crowley Maritime Corporation is a 125-year-old privately held company that is family and employee-owned. The company has a highly-capable and modern fleet of tugs and barges.

“Crowley’s ocean class tugs are modern ocean towing twin-screw vessels with controllable pitch propellers in nozzles, high-lift rudders and more than 147 metric-ton bollard pull. The first two ocean class vessels, Ocean Wave and Ocean Wind, are classed as Dynamic Positioning 1 tugboats and are twin-screw tugs with an overall length of 146 feet, beam of 46 feet, hull depth of 25 feet and design draft of 21 feet. The second two tugs of the class, Ocean Sky and Ocean Sun, are classed as DP2 and are 10 feet longer. All four vessels are capable of rig moves, platform and Floating Production, Storage and Offloading unit tows, emergency response, salvage support and firefighting,” per the Crowley press release.

Article written by HEI contributor Raymond Arrasmith.

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