Field/project development

McDermott Tapped for Whale Work in GOM

The contractor will provide engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning for pipelines and umbilicals at the Shell-led deepwater field.

McDermott Amazon vessel
McDermott's Amazon will transport and install the rigid ultradeepwater pipelines at Shell's Whale development.
SOURCE: McDermott International Ltd.

Shell has awarded an engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning contract related to certain pipelines and umbilicals at its Whale development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to McDermott. The contract scope covers 30 miles of pipeline and about 9 miles of umbilical to connect five drill centers to a new offshore platform. The project will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in 2024.

McDermott will utilize its Amazon vessel on the job, following a sophisticated upgrade to its ultradeepwater capabilities. Shell made its final investment decision to proceed with the Whale project in July of this year. Whale is located in the Alaminos Canyon area, about 10 miles from Shell’s Perdido development.

“This contract, which will take place in a water depth of more than 9,000 feet, is a massive opportunity to demonstrate how the Amazon, with its industry-leading pipelay capabilities, is redefining what is possible within ultradeepwater construction,” said Samik Mukherjee, McDermott executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We are also looking forward to bringing the Amazon into the Gulf of Mexico—especially as we use this opportunity to continue our long track record of successful project execution.”

The Amazon’s upgraded specs enable highly automated operations, the production of hex joints from single or double joints using an onboard multijoint facility, and a pipe hold capacity of 10,000 metric tons. Its increased level of automation also enables a reduction in the crew numbers required to safely perform pipelay operations.

Engineering, procurement, and project management services on the Whale job will be led by McDermott’s team in Houston. McDermott’s flex lay vessel North Ocean 102 will install the umbilicals and the Amazon will transport and install the rigid ultradeepwater pipelines.