Case Study

Multi-purpose Cable Innovator installs power cable between oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico

Swecomex Project

Global Marine is a leading provider of submarine cable installation and maintenance engineering services, and has used its multi-purpose vessel Cable Innovator, to install a subsea power cable between two oil platforms in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico.

As part of an upgrade program which was administered by Swecomex SA de CV, an offshore engineering company, the cabling provides vital power connectivity between Nahoch A and Takin A which are owned by Mexico’s national oil company, Pemex. Swecomex required a rapid and professional power cable installation to keep the upgrade project to time and budget.

The operations began in December 2006 and ended in April 2007. Swecomex selected Global Marine, after a competitive tender process, based upon a combination of its expertise in the oil and gas industry and leading edge cable installation and maintenance technology.

Project overview

• Vessel: Cable Innovator
• Location: Gulf of Mexico Cable
• Length: 11.5km power cable
• Services: Installation, Mattressing & PLIB
• Subsea Equipment: ST200 Series

Cable Innovator

Cable Innovator

Techniques used

The Cable Innovator placed an 11.5 kilometre connecting power cable between the two platforms. The cable was buried one metre beneath the sea bed at an ocean depth of up to 40 metres.

Global Marine also completed a “mattressing” process for Swecomex, a process which uses an electronic heave compensation control winch in the laying of protective concrete mattresses, over seven different Pemex oil or gas pipelines. These pipelines connect the two oil platforms back to the mainland.

The mattresses are laid between the pipe and subsea cable to reduce damage to the existing pipes and then on top of the cable to protect the cable from erosion. ‘Sandwiching’ the cable provides long term protection and therefore reduces costs in the future.

Key challenges

Locating existing pipelines: Many of the oil and gas pipes had been buried deep into the ocean floor and had now become difficult to locate. Maps and indication plans from Pemex could only offer basic information of where the pipes may lay, so Global Marine used Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), which have sensory devices, to locate exactly where the pipes were.

The work required trained operators who controlled the ROVs from the Cable Innovator, to monitor a camera relayed from the ROV to the vessel, to see what was happening undersea. 


Ship: Cable Innovator, an advanced offshore engineering ship, is a multi purpose offshore vessel and is capable of handling the wide variety of subsea tasks required by such diverse industries as telecommunications, oil & gas and deep sea scientific research.

Submersibles: Cable Innovator was equipped with the ST200 series of free swimming ROVs which have set the benchmark for modern cable working ROVs. The flexible system can operate in both free swimming and tracked modes.

"Trust was the determining factor when selecting a partner to work with on this project. Global Marine has proven experience of delivering high level power cable installation and maintenance services to the oil and gas market and was therefore a natural partner of choice."
Mr. Armando Rimoldi Renteria
Managing Director for Swecomex

Oil & Gas Telecoms Offshore Renewables Power Deep Sea Research