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Baker Hughes’ new Blue Tarpon™ vessel is one of the largest deepwater fracturing and stimulation vessels of its kind. The 300-foot ship improves completion efficiency by performing multiple well completions on a single voyage without docking to re-supply.

The Blue Tarpon is designed to provide high-rate, high-volume stimulation treatments for demanding offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The vessel provides fracturing, sand management, acidizing and pressure pumping operations with three blenders, which offer maximum backup. All of these processes are monitored and regulated from a state-of-the-art Control Room onboard the vessel.

“The Control Room is the highlight of the vessel. It’s where the customer can observe their job,” said Mike DeRosso, senior engineering technologist. It is the nerve center of the vessel – where all of the ship’s mixing and pumping systems are managed. It’s also where data is acquired and analyzed to ensure that operations are flowing smoothly.

Baker Hughes worked with Winsted's Custom Division, to design a one-of-a-kind console that was built to withstand the extreme weather conditions of the sea, would allow operators to do their jobs efficiently, and serve as a showcase for clients who routinely visit the vessel to check on the progress of their job.

“We wanted to make the best Control Room environment that we possibly could,” said DeRosso. “We needed high-quality furniture to tie our state-of-the-art Control Room together. That’s why we chose Winsted equipment.”

At the outset of the design process DeRosso looked at some of the standard, off-the-shelf technical furniture that Winsted offers but it was quickly determined that it would make more sense to design a Custom solution, that would be tailored to the unique size and shape of the room.

The installation includes three rows of consoles. In order to fit the compact dimensions of the vessel’s Control Room, the depth of the work surfaces on the front and middle consoles were shortened by eleven inches. The front console has 12 monitors that allow operators to view process instrumentation for directing pumping, blending and adding chemicals during completion operations.

The middle workstation is where the Baker Hughes supervisors and engineers acquire, process, record and display real-time pumping data, which can be viewed locally on the console’s seven monitors. The vessel also has the capability to transmit data remotely to shore.

The back console has four monitors where customers are able to observe the job. There are also 16 CCTV cameras installed throughout the vessel to monitor different areas, which customers can watch from the Control Room. A large work surface and task lighting enables the customers to read notes and complete documentation.

This workstation utilizes Winsted’s Adapt-a-Track horizontal track system inlaid into the work surface for mounting the monitors. It is a universal mount system that offers the same flexibility of a slat track system while improving the clients’ line of sight to additional monitors and giving the console a cleaner appearance. The track system allows clients to comfortably view the eight 52-inch monitors that are strategically placed around the Control Room, as well as giving a clear view of the Control Room windows.

The furniture bases are constructed of EIA 19-inch racks, which are sturdy enough to withstand the movement of the vessel and have the capacity for computers and other equipment to be mounted directly into the consoles.

Corian® work surfaces, were selected for the consoles. “We chose the Corian® countertop because we wanted something that would last a long time,” said DeRosso. “With the Corian® if we scratch it we can buff out the scratches and they clean easily. It is perfect.”

Winsted designers worked closely with the audio/visual company on the project to find a unique solution for mounting several Fostex® radio transmitters directly into the Corian® work surface. The Fostex units are recessed into the work surface at a slight an angle that makes the equipment easier for operators to access.

Many of the jobs the Blue Tarpon embarks on will take place at night. During these jobs the main lighting in the Control Room is turned off and blackout lighting is used. For this reason, task lighting was installed at each of the console workstations. In addition to consoles for the Control Room, Winsted's Custom Division provided a table for the adjacent conference room using the same Corian® work surface that was used for the consoles.

“Working with Winsted to design the console was fun. You don’t say that very often,” said DeRosso of the project. “It turned out well and everyone was pleased with the result.”
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