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Catenary Mooring

26 954 KN, MoorLOK Connector


August, 2020


BP / Chevron


Oil & Gas


26954 kN MoorLOK

Connector No.

13 Interfaces


Catenary Mooring FPU


Mad Dog, Gulf of Mexico

Earth Globe Map World Dots Blue GoM 001

\\        Project Profile

World's Largest Mooring Load

We were approached by BP and Chevron for help with mooring their catenary mooring lines on the Argos FPU located in the Mad Dog field in the Gulf of Mexico, Green Canyon area located 190 miles south of New Orleans.

BP required a mooring connector with a Minimum Break Load (MBL) of 26 954 kN compatible with 171 mm, Studless End Link, RS chain and a design life of 35 years.

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Design and specifications


13 MoorLOK mooring connectors

Breaking Load

26 954 kN

Special features

Compact design

Secondary lock

Guide cone and docking fabrication

Corrosion inhibitor

ROV release clamp


The scope meant that the mooring connector would have to be built to cope with the largest mooring load in history!

We looked at various design technology already in place but current technology proved to be either operationally inflexible or prohibitively expensive.

A new design, based on a ball and groove design, helped reduce the size of the connector by half. This, combined with a unique, small and lightweight secondary lock mechanism, helped make large cost savings.


The manufacturing process of the mooring connector was spread over three countries. All load bearing material was manufactured in Germany and Italy with the machining carried out between Germany and the UK.

The connector was assembled and tested in house in the Balltec 4000 mT Proof Load, horizontal test rig with the load and strain logged for each test.

The receptacles were shipped to Spain to fit to the suction piles and the males were shipped to Port Fourchon, Louisiana for the mooring line installation campaign.


The receptacle was installed by Subsea 7 to the Mad Dog Field by the Island Venture between August and September 2020.

The males were installed between September 2020 and May 2021 by the Island Victory.

Current location

Mad Dog 2 001

Currently in service, the Argos FPU and Mad Dog field are currently producing.

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