Take a vast network of pipes laid precisely on the sea floor.
Now a new mega mover takes charge the all seized laura-leigh is a pipeline building pro at 600 feet she’s longer than the Washington Monument is tall a massive pipe manufacturing facility fills nearly two-thirds of her.
Hall offers stern a 200-foot guide called a stinger lowers the pipeline to the seafloor.
Creating the network of pipelines is like building a city sewer system nearly 2 miles below the ocean’s surface the lower lays biggest challenge is laying each of the pipelines on their predefined pathways deviate even a few inches and it will be a massive tangle of steel the laura-leigh has just a few months to complete the pipelines before the gas processing platform arrives and summer is prime time.
For hurricanes she’s got to lay this pipe before bad weather catches up to her below her decks is a massive hold with over 22,000 pounds of steel pipes the pipes can’t be welded at the bottom of the ocean that happens here in.
A high-tech assembly process called the firing line massive elevators lift 40-foot sections from the holes and slide them into the firing line the pipe seen here will form a single pipe line 45 miles long.
Amazingly even steel pipe over an inch thick bends like a garden hose under its own weight twelve thousand feet over two miles.
Of pipe are suspended between the ship and the seafloor in a giant curve the lower label work around the clock to spit out up to three miles of pipeline every day making her one of the.
Fastest pipe laying vessels in the world with the Wells and pipeline construction underway it’s time for step three in the independence project laying the cables that will control each Wells gas flow it’s a job for the choice of Perseus she’s one of the only vessels that can install these cables in such a deep.
Water her huge reels hold miles of the thick cables and her aft deck is bigger than three basketball courts it needs to be that’s where the Perseus carries its giant cable connectors the crew places a connector next to each well and.
Runs the cable along the pipe line all the way back to the processing hub these cables are an essential.
Part of the network by supplying the electronic and hydraulic power to open and close the Wells valves they’ll allow an engineer on the processing platform to control the flow of gas from a well as much as 45 miles away the first step is to carefully spin the cable out of the hole below deck this massive reel holds.
The longest control cable of the project 13 miles long weighing 1,200 tons the weight of 700 automobiles the end.
Of the cable is threaded into a curved guide to prevent kinking the delicate internal elements a tricky maneuver that requires handing off the cable between two cranes safely in the guide its lowered to the deck the crew attaches a stabbing pin.
To the end of the control cable now they must lock the pin into the connector already installed on the seafloor it’s like putting a plug into a socket except that the cord is nearly two miles long too huge tensioners close in on the cable their tractor like grip holds the entire weight of the cable as it’s lowered it’s a straight shot through a hole in the middle of the ship 9,000 feet down they’re the real challenge begins.
Plugging a pin into the bucket size to socket once the cable is in the water there’s no turning back okay coming down take coming down after a four hour journey the moment of truth is at hand the cable lowers to the seafloor a dozen feet from the connector our o these.
Remotely operated vehicles are the engineers eyes and hands on the seafloor they’re launched from the ship at the start of every underwater operation without them engineers can plug in the control cable the crew steers the toys of Perseus and the plug dangling far below.
Closer to the metal structure if it hits and they damage the high-tech plug this multi-million dollar cable will be nothing but junk.
I’m ready to try and stab this inserting the stabbing pin at the end of the cable into the.
Small socket on the connector is a real challenge it’s like making a perfect dunk shot from an airplane flying at 9,000 feet for the Perseus and the entire team of mega movers one technology gives them the critical ability to stay exactly on.
Target dynamic positioning computers measure every factor affecting the ship’s position and control the entrance to hover in one spot move forward or backward or even sideways fly it over the stat point worth on the bridge of the Perseus.
The crew relies on an ROV a remotely operated vehicle to guide the stabbing pin toward her target then a clockwise Knight it’s in but something’s wrong it won’t.
Lock oh and just put it on the swivel plate and try to push this little play door out the stabbing pin is turned out of position and there’s nothing the ROV can do to turn it back without a perfect connection this cable will be useless BLS projec the front comes up with a clever strategy they enter a new heading for the.
Perseus and as the ship rotates it swivels the cable turning this stabbing pin on its axis we put a meter as slack in it a plan works now Roger I’ll stop by the pin finally locks into the socket can you follow it over and just watch the touchdown for me with the hardest part of the mission accomplished the Perseus can now lay the miles of cable that will control the flow of gas from the well the mega movers have tackled three out of five major parts.
Of the independence project they’ve tested the 15 Wells laid 210 miles of pipes to bring the gas to the processing platform and installed control cables throughout the network a major step remains building the giant pipeline to get the gas to shore it will take almost 20,000 pipes and months of work to construct the 135 mile independence trail and there’s only one ship in the world strong enough to build.
It they all cease solitaire she’s got to lay this huge pipeline before the processing hub can pump gas few vessels would dare to attempt this mission for the solitaires.
Not just any ship she’s the largest pipe laying vessel in the world at 1,200 feet the eiffel tower could easily lay on our deck a pipe welding assembly line runs the entire length of the ship and a huge stinger just from her Stern to guide the pipeline to the seafloor like the lure lay the other pipe-laying ship on the project the solitaire builds the pipeline in one continuous motion.
Welding the pipes together inside her Hall and depositing the finished pipeline on the seafloor but unlike the other ship she does it on.
A much much bigger scale the solitaires six cavernous holes carry over 21,000 tons of pipe that’s more than the weight of 120 jumbo jets even this many pipes doesn’t last long solitaire can lay 4 miles of pipe in a day.
Huge barges constantly replenished the supply of pipes to keep this mega pipe layer busy and that’s where the ship’s cranes swing into action they’re built for speed most cranes have a single long bone these monsters have two arms giving them amazing accuracy and speed to complete the independence project on.
Schedule the solitaire has to build and lay the pipeline fast first the crew Mills the pipes ends to provide a smooth clean surface then the pipe is welded together at 8 welding stations each weld adds more strength to the.
Joint a special drone even welds the seam inside the huge pipe completing this pipeline will take over 21,000 wells when every station is ready a bell rings and the pipe seems to move out the back of the ship and into the sea but that’s not what really happens miles of pipe on the seafloor connected directly to the ship like a massive anchor huge tensioners like tractor treads squeeze the pipe to hold it or let it out when the pipe moves through the firing line and then into the sea.
It’s really the ship that creeps forward on the new pipeline growing in her belly the solitaire works around the clock to complete the pipeline on schedule this is the deepest pipeline she’s ever laid but her biggest challenge is still ahead installing a massive tee assembly a connector that will allow future pipelines to link to the independence trail welding the large spigot shaped tee into the pipeline.
Shouldn’t be hard the difficulty will come.
In trying to push the bulky structure out of an assembly line designed for pipes the crew has a plan but it’s risky.
135 miles away on the Texas coast work reaches a fever pitch on the final part of the project the independents Hoffman this huge floating platform will process all the gas from the project’s 15 deep-sea wells and send it 135 miles to shore along the independence trail soon this a mega structure will be towed out to the gas field but first they have to.
The hub is made up of two parts the upper unit or processing platform and the lower unit a hole that will keep the hub afloat the massive.
Platform will process a billion cubic feet of natural gas each day enough for the cooking and heating needs of five million US households when it’s done it will be the heart of the largest gas processing project in the.
Gulf and the deepest anchored platform in the world but first the team needs to join the upper and lower units together just outside the harbor another mega mover arrives the mighty servant 3 on her back the massive flotation Hall the four towered structure on which the platform will rest.