This paper presents a brief review of Creole's Pipe Laying experience in Lake Maracaibo prior to 1958 along with a review of the formulation of basic design data, operational procedure and evaluation of two new pipe layer barges which were delivered in 1958.

The New Barges incorporate a number of improvements in equipment design and handling procedures. Some of the more important improvements covered in the paper are listed below:

  1. Increase in hull width and depth to improve stability and provide more storage space for pipe.

  2. Provision for two welding stations so that two welds can be made simultaneously.

  3. Installation of a stiff leg to move pipe from "dumb" barges to the pipe layer barge storage rack.

  4. Installation of mechanical handling facilities consisting of air actuated rams, transfer arms, and air powered motors.

  5. Provision for two 150 KW diesel electrics sets which furnish power for electric motors used to drive equipment.

  6. Addition of neoprene covering on storage and feeder rack areas and pipe handling facilities to reduce the amount of damage caused by storing and handling coated and wrapped pipe.

  7. Installation of facilities to improve efficiency of operating personnel.

A brief review is made of the performance of the new pipe layer barges with special emphasis given to increased laying rate, reduction in personnel requirements, and reduction of pipe coating damage resulting from design improvements.

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