Monitoring mooring chain integrity in the Gulf of Mexico


Our customer, a tier 1 IMR contractor on behalf of a major independent energy company, wanted to undertake chain measurements for a life extension study. The customer specifically requested Ashtead Technology’s optical Chain Measurement System (CMS) due to its high accuracy and operational efficiency in terms of vessel time savings compared to alternate technology.

The work was to be carried out on a floating production unit in approximately 1000m water depth in the Gulf of Mexico.


Ashtead Technology’s CMS was deployed by a work class ROV to perform intergrip length, sidebar diameter and link length measurements used to determine chain wear, corrosion, and elongation, respectively.

Benefits and value

This was the first deployment of Ashtead Technology’s newly upgraded optical CMS in the Gulf of Mexico and the first time measuring chains on a lateral mooring system for a tension leg platform.

The optical CMS is able to collect all critical chain measurements simultaneously, where conventional measurement tools would take several ROV dives due to the different dimensions required.

The CMS also outperforms 3D scanning technologies (photogrammetry or laser) by performing all measurements within minutes and producing live results with sub-millimetre accuracy using machine-vision algorithms developed using artificial intelligence. Alternative 3D scanning technologies require more vessel time/cost for the equivalent scope and results require post-processing.


“This is the first time we have used Ashtead Technology’s optical chain measurement solution and I found it to be a highly-efficient, effective and reliable tool for monitoring mooring chain integrity.”

“We really enjoyed working with your team – great job.”