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FES International supplies Diverless Bend Stiffener Connectors (DBSCs) for Caesar/Tonga Oil Development in Gulf of Mexico

In January 2011, Andarko Petroleum Corp released news regarding a mechanical issue at its $1.3 billion Caesar/Tonga project in the Gulf of Mexico which could have potentially delayed production from mid-2011.

A test of the production riser system, which connects drilling equipment on the ocean floor to the platform on the surface, revealed that it was not working properly. Ceasar/Tonga is a joint development project that began in early 2007 as a subsea tie-back to the Constitution SPAR facility situated 190 miles off the New Orleans coast.


Fields associated with Ceasar/Tonga have water depths of up to 5,000 feet and are located on Green Canyon Blocks 683, 726 and 770. At these depths maintenance and repairs can be a lengthy process causing significant delays to production and increase downtime.

Wellstream, which is responsible for the design and manufacture of the risers for the Ceasar/Tonga project, commissioned FES International to urgently supply Diverless Bend Stiffener Connectors (DBSCs) that would enable another riser to be connected to the well on the seabed while repairs were being made to the existing risers.

This way Andarko could reduce costly downtime and continue to produce oil and hit its forecast prediction targets of 240 million barrels of oil for 2011.

Strategy & Results

The FES DBSCs are designed to enable quick, efficient and cost effective installation of riser and umbilical bend stiffeners in often congested or confined areas.

Latching mechanisms on the DBSCs have been tailored and manufactured to fit Wellstream’s requirement, providing an automatic intervention which offers safer and more reliable connections.

Wellstream commissioned FES International because of its proven track record of timely production and delivery of its products. FES designed a bespoke DBSC for this project in line with Andarko’s specifications. Usually DBSCs are designed with ‘female’ latching however FES manufactured the industry’s first ‘male’ latch DBSC which can be easily connected to the risers using pressure operated valves (POV).

The bespoke DBSC’s were delivered on time and allowed for Andarko to fix their risers with minimal downtime to the Cesar/Tonga well.

Flexible Engineered Solutions International (FES) is a leading provider of fluid transfer solutions to the offshore industry. With over 40 years’ experience, FES International has a proven track record in the design, manufacture and supply of products to the oil and gas and offshore renewables markets.

For more information on FES International products and services please email or call 01670 524 960.