Shell Offshore Inc’s (Shell), Stones project is the world’s deepest oil and gas project, operating in around 2,900 metres (9,500 feet) of water in an ultra-deep area of the US Gulf of Mexico. The project started production in September 2016 from a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility called the Turritella. The Turritella FPSO connects to subsea infrastructure which produces oil and gas from reservoirs nearly 30,000 feet below sea level.

In April 2018 Shell Offshore Inc offloaded several surface and subsea items components for the Stones FPSO project from a customer supplied vessel and place into storage near the dockside and into CORE facilities indoor storage facilities. In late September 2018, after the onshore scope of work was completed at Core’s dockside, it was time to load out the ALM/PD and the VFD onto barges. Prior to load out, an extensive and thorough review was conducted of all safety aspects including risk assessments, verification of qualification and certification of personnel, equipment readiness including Core’s 660 T crane, spreader bars, slings and shackles. The ALM/PD and the VFD each weighed approximately 300T. After load out to barge, sea fastening was completed, final documents were signed off by the surveyors before sail away.

Successful execution of the Shell Stones project highlighted several critical aspects – upfront project planning and execution, documentation, inventory management, offloading and staging, structural fabrication and welding, FAT/SIT testing, lift test and load out.