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Pipelay Vessels - PLV

Pipelines are an essential part of the development of offshore oil & gas fields to enable to production and transport of crude oil and/or natural gas hence the important role of the Pipelay Vessels (PLV’s) in laying the required pipelines, flowlines and trunklines.


Pipelay Methods


Pipelay can be divided in several methods such as:


  •   “S” lay, when the pipeline is laid from a barge on anchored or a ship shape pipelay vessel on DP, where the pipeline is welded on-board the barge and lowered to the seabed via a “stinger” , generating a gentle ”S” shape. This method can be used both in shallow or deep water. When in deep water, the DP PLV is equipped with a large stinger and increased tensioning capability.

Pipelay barges are usually utilized in shallow water and pipelay performed with the barge on anchors.

  •   “J” lay, when the pipeline is welded onboard the barge or ship shape vessel or submersible and lowered to the seabed in via a vertical lay ramp or system (VLS) to the seabed. This method required a large tensioning capacity, and is relatively slow to lay pipelines.
  •    “Reel Lay”, when the pipeline or flowline is prefabricated onshore in a “Spooling Base” and then loaded on-board the pipelay vessel, fitted with a reel or reels. Pipeline and flowline made of steel are reeled within their elasticity parameters and can be thereafter “unreeled” during the laying offshore to the seabed. The Reel-Lay method is limited to the outside diameter of the pipe, currently up to 18” and to the wall thickness of the pipe. Reel lay is mostly used for flowlines and trunklines from 2 to 12” diameter. Reel lay method is also commonly used for the laying of flexible pipes and flowlines and/or umbilicals.


Pipelay Vessels types


Pipelay vessels are either a:

  •    Barge, moving on anchors with the assistance of an Anchor Handling Tug (AHT)
  •    Ship shape, laying the pipe on DP, either with a stinger or from a reel (s).
  •    Semisubmersible lying the pipe either via a stinger or in via a vertical laying tower in a “J” Lay mode.

PLV’s can operate in shore approaches, inland waters, shallow water, deepwater depending of their draft and propulsion mode.

Some pipelay vessels are also equipped with pipe burying equipment, where the pipe is buried below the seabed to protect it from damages.


W2S2 is committed to providing the most expansive list of pipelay vessels worldwide. There are numerous pipelay vessels available in the world capable of meeting the needs of your offshore oil and gas projects. Our comprehensive list pipelay vessels includes vital information (such as up-to-date vessel specifications, high-resolution pictures and the geographical location of each ship) giving you extensive knowledge and opportunities to make your projects more profitable.


Whether you are an operator looking for a dedicated vessel for your job, an engineering contractor looking for detailed knowledge of a vessel, an offshore contractor looking for information on competitors’ fleet or a financial institution looking to invest in vessels, W2S2 provides the information the oil, gas, and energy industry needs.


If you are ready to conduct business with the most trusted and comprehensive source of oil and gas and shipping industries’ fleet vessel information, feel free to contact today.



Sample of some of our vessels.

1 Mas 300

Abouzar 1200

Acergy Condor

Acergy Orion

Acergy Polaris