Helix Producer 1

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Helix Producer 1 seen flaring natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico over the Phoenix Field.
  • Helix Producer 1
  • Karl Carstens (1986–2009)
Owner: Kommandor LLC
Operator: Helix Energy Solutions Group
Port of registry:  Bahamas, Nassau
Builder: Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Viktor Lenac Shipyard
Acquired: May 2, 1986
Status: Operational
Notes: [1]
General characteristics
Type: Multi-purpose offshore vessel
Tonnage: 17,357 GT
Length: 161.5 m (530 ft)
Beam: 29 m (95 ft)
Draught: 8.6 m (28 ft)
Depth: 14 m (46 ft)
  • Oil: 30,000 bbl/d (4,800 m3/d)
  • Gas: 70×10^6 cu ft/d (2.0×10^6 m3/d)
  • Water: 50,000 bbl/d (7,900 m3/d)
Notes: [1][2]

Helix Producer 1 is a ship-shaped monohull floating production and offloading vessel, converted from the ferry MV Karl Carstens. It has no storage capability.[2]

MV Karl Carstens[edit]

The ship was built in 1986 for Deutsche Bundesbahn as a roll-on roll-off (RORO) ferry serving on the Vogelfluglinie, a connection between Fehmarn, Germany and Denmark. It remained in service from 1986 until 1997.

Helix Producer 1[edit]

The ship was reconfigured as a Floating Production vessel and converted between 2006–2008 at the Viktor Lenac Shipyard in Croatia.[2][3] Topside production facilities were designed by OFD Engineering in Houston, Texas and installed in 2009 at the Kiewit shipyard in Corpus Christi, Texas, United States.[4]

Helix Producer 1 has a Disconectable Transfer system (DTS) designed and supplied by Flexible Engineered Solutions LTD (FES), UK, and consists of a riser buoy supporting sub-sea risers and control umbilicals that would be connected to a deep water well and can be released from the hull, allowing the vessel to move out of the way of an approaching hurricane. After the storm, the vessel would return to the site and reconnect the buoy resuming normal oil extraction. It is operated by the Helix Energy Solutions Group and was scheduled to operate on the Phoenix Oil Field in the Gulf of Mexico, but on June 14, 2010 Helix announced that the ship would be directed to assist BP at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site.[5]

In its new configuration the ship has a length of 161.5 m (530 ft), a breadth of 29 m (95 ft) (increased from before 18 m (59 ft)), a depth of 14.2 m (47 ft), and a draft of 8.6 m (28 ft). The vessel has a maximum displacement of 29,000 t (29,000 long tons; 32,000 short tons), and as a light ship of 9,475 t (9,325 long tons; 10,444 short tons).[2]

Service at Deepwater Horizon site[edit]

BP announced in June 2010 that Helix Producer 1 would join Discoverer Enterprise and Toisa Pisces at the Deepwater Horizon site to process oil that is flowing from the deepwater well. While Discover Enterprise can process about 18,000 barrels (760,000 US gallons; 2,900 cubic metres) of oil per day, Helix Producer 1 can handle about 30,000 barrels.[6] The estimate of the uncontrolled oil flow at that time was up to 60,000 barrels. It was anticipated that Helix Producer 1 would be used for 2 months for this mission.[6] Oil from Helix Producer 1 was to be offloaded by a shuttle tanker. Starting in early August mud, later cement was pumped into the well, eventually closing it, so that by September 19, 2010, it could be announced that the Macondo Well had been finally killed.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Helix Producer 1 (30158)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Weinbel, Cory (April 26, 2007). "Use of a Ship-Shaped Floating Production Unit for the Phoenix Development" (PDF). Marine Technology Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 27, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  3. ^ "Helix Producer 1 to be subject of MTS presentation" (Press release). Marine Technology Society. June 1, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  4. ^ Maksoud, Judy (June 23, 2009). "Helix Producer I arrives in GoM". E&P. Hart Energy Publishing, LP. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  5. ^ Staff writers (June 14, 2010). "Helix pushes back Phoenix to help PB". Upstream. NHST Media Group. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Brenner, Noah; Guegel, Anthony (June 14, 2010). "Macondo flow estimate soars". Upstream Online. NHST Media Group. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  7. ^ Campbell (2010-09-19). "Blown-out BP well finally killed at bottom of Gulf". Associated Press. Yahoo News Company. Archived from the original on 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2010-09-19.