Case Study:

Pipeline & Process

Successful Towhead Ballasting brings substantial savings to project

Pipeline Services, Front End Engineering, Pressure Pumping

Successful Towhead Ballasting brings substantial savings to project
  • Innovative engineering solution accelerates offshore project delivery significantly
  • Significant monetary savings


Altus Intervention was asked to perform towhead ballasting on the Catcher Varadera and Burgman bundles.

Originally, barite powder was to be transported in the support vessel dry bulk tanks. The dry powder was then to be brought to deck using dry compressed air then mixed with seawater in blender units. Pre-determined volumes of the slurry would then be pumped into the towheads structure tubulars whilst offshore from the back deck of the vessel. The anticipated offshore timescale to complete the operation was scheduled for 28 days.



The Altus Intervention team challenged the conventional method of towhead ballasting and came up with an innovative solution. Rather than pump from the vessel, they arranged for the slurry to be premixed at an onshore facility and mobilized to the vessel ready for uninterrupted pumping directly into the vessel bulk tanks. Supply vessels could then hold the whole slurry requirement negating the necessity to return to the quayside to take on the remaining fluid.



The towhead ballasting project was successfully completed in a quarter of the anticipated timescale due to the Altus Intervention team challenging convention to provide an innovative solution to our client that would result in major cost reductions.

The now standard pumping operation method of mobilising pre-mixed slurry resulted in significant savings to the client through a reduction in vessel hire time and equipment spread. Fewer vehicles were required to mobilise the equipment and it eliminated the need for a dust box, blender units, desiccant driers and bulk silos.

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