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The Helix Producer I (HPI) is 528 ft long, 95 ft wide, weighs 2,295 tons, has a top speed of 6 knots, and is flagged by the Bahamas.and is designed to produce and export up to 45,000 b/d of oil. The vessel can handle 72 MMcf/d of gas and 50,000 b/d of water (60,000 b/d total fluids). The design includes a disconnectable transfer system, which will allow Helix Producer I to quickly decouple from subsea infrastructure in the event of a weather-related emergency. The HPI should be a valuable asset in recovering oil at the Macondo Field oil spill site in the Gulf of Mexico.

Under US Coast Guard rules, fixed platforms have to be evacuated for a certain number of days when storms come through the Gulf of Mexico. Production after the storm can begin sooner due to the fact that personnel will not be evacuated from the vessel, but will remain onboard during transit to safe harbor. With a disconnectable system, there is no need for personnel to leave the vessel, so those additional logistics costs are not incurred. The vessel’s mobility is a considerable asset. The Helix Producer I design concept offers distinct advantages over moored production facilities. The HPI can evade weather events such as hurricanes, whereas platforms or moored moored production facilities must endure the storms. (MainTraffic.com, E&P Magazine, Wiki, 6/23/2010)