November 6 - US headquartered Crowley Corporation mobilised three of its ocean class tugs to deliver and position the Lucius Spar in the Gulf of Mexico, on behalf of Anadarko Petroleum.
Tugs Ocean Wind, Ocean Wave and Ocean Sun towed the 185 m long by 33.5 m wide Spar from Corpus Christi in Texas, through the Ingleside Channel and out to the Keathley Canyon Block 875, 482 km (300 miles) offshore.
Crowley tugs Pilot and Warrior followed the convoy with 20,000 tonnes of dry ballast material to safely lower Lucius into the water during the installation process.
The Spar - a type of floating oil platform used in very deep waters and anchored to the seabed by a spread mooring system - was relocated in a two-phase operation. During the first stage of work, the near-shore phase, Ocean Wind and Ocean wave completed the tow away from Corpus Christi while Ocean Sun was on hand to provide assistance if required.
The second phase of the project saw the spar relocated to deeper waters offshore. The spar was towed to its final location and the three Crowley tug vessels helped hold the unit in position while it was connected to its moorings and made storm safe, at a water depth of 2,164 m (7,100 ft).
Crowley was also responsible for the transport of the rig's sub-cellar deck, which will form the lower of two decks of the Spar topside structure. This was transported on board Crowley's 122 m long, 32 m wide high-deck strength barge, Marty J and towed by Ocean Sun.
The project will come to a close when Lucius' 9,000-tonne topside is positioned on these foundations. Crowley's high-strength deck barge Julie B, towed by one its ocean class tugboats will complete this installation at a later date.
"This was another successful pairing of Crowley's new ocean class tugboats and high-deck strength barges," said Crowley's John Ara, vice president, solutions. "With each project, our crews and customers gain a better understanding of the full potential of our new equipment. As a result, we're now being awarded an increased scope of work with more intricate involvement in these major installations."
The Lucius Spar is expected to come online in 2014 and have a capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil per day, and 450 million cu ft of gas per day.