In heavy seas to the west of the Shetlands Islands, Maersk Supply Service pioneered the use of tilted installation in suction pile operations.
The project involved installing 14 suction anchors, each weighing approximately 60 tonnes, at BP’s Schiehallion field in the North Sea. The moorings would be used to anchor up an FPSO.
Maersk Supply Service was chosen for the job because it could provide vessels with the necessary capabilities. But the harsh conditions demanded a different approach if the project was to be completed in good time.
Two large Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels were deployed. This was the first example of a suction pile being lowered into position after being tilted over the stern. This allowed an otherwise challenging installation in a harsh environment to be completed safely and on schedule.