A mechanical issue detected early last year with the production riser system on Anadarko’s Caesar/Tonga development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico had the potential to substantially delay production from this 10-mile subsea tieback to the Constitution spar. Wellstream, responsible for the design and manufacture of the risers for this tieback in 5000ft water depths, commissioned FES International to urgently supply diverless bend stiffener connectors (DBSCs) that would enable another riser to be connected while repair work was under way, minimising downtime. FES designed a bespoke DBSC for this project in line with Anadarko’s specifications. Usually such connectors are designed with ‘female’ latching, but on this occasion FES came up with an innovative ‘male’ latch which can be easily connected to the risers using pressure operated valves. Caesar/Tonga came onstream in March.