Arctic projects are characterized by a very short installation season withan unpredictable begin and end, as well as large lo-gistical distances. Inparticular pipelay and pipe burial are a concern as these are time consumingprocesses. The deployment of multiple units for completing the work within thenarrow time frame available involves significant mobilization andde-mobilization costs, as for many Arctic developments the nearest offshoreequipment deployment area during the rest of the year is far away. Additionally, the costs of standby whilst waiting for break-up of the ice arehigh for such a vessel spread.
The paper presents a novel concept of pipelay using large floatingexchangeable reels which concept is anticipated to be sig-nificantly fasterthan S-lay. Moreover, it needs only a small construction crew in the field andis competitive with S-lay on costs.
For the economic viability of such a fast pipelay concept, it is essentialthat an Arctic pipelay market of sufficient volume will develop, in order toallow depreciation over a number of projects.
The fast pipelay concept proposed can also be deployed outside the Arctic onprojects having a scope comparable with the example project described.