In 1993, the J-Lay method of pipelaying was chosen to install deep water pipelines to the Shell Oil Company's Auger Tension Lcg Platform. A specialized J-Lay pipe laying system was designed and constructed to lay a portion of these pipelines in water depths ranging from 1200 feet to 2860 feet. Since this work was performed many benefits have been realized relative to the J-Lay process which show this process to be proven, reliable, and cost effective.
This paper will update the history of the J-Lay process in the Gulf of Mexico since the lay of the Auger pipelines including technology improvements and benefits realized. Conclusions regarding the future direction of J-Lay equipment and processes with projected design criteria of future systems will be addressed. In addition, this paper will briefly highlight some important factors when designing a deep water pipeline.