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The Gulf of Mexico, one of the most challenging environments in the world for oil and gas exploration, is benefiting from cable gland technology from Hawke International. Major oil and gas companies are leading the exploration of these huge reserves working in partnership with specialist contractors and suppliers in complex multi-national engineering teams.

Hawke International has been involved from the outset on these projects and their cable glands play a vital role in the safe termination of electrical cables in this harsh and potentially explosive environment. The company manufactures safety critical equipment for electrical connections that exceed standards set by international certification bodies. Over 100,000 cable glands have been supplied to four large installations which in some cases are located in water up to 7000 feet deep and up to 190 miles from land.

If evidence were needed of the ferocity of the environment, this came when hurricanes Dennis, Katrina and Rita swept the Gulf in 2005. This caused the destruction of 35 platforms, set 13 rigs adrift and put 20 coastal refineries temporarily out of action.

Products used on the Gulf of Mexico projects include Hawke’s UL listed explosion protected cable glands. These glands use Hawke’s unique rear seal system for ingress protection, which meets IP66/67, NEMA 4X and DTS01 water deluge protection requirements. High visibility deluge seals, that are easy to inspect, are provided on all glands to further safeguard against moisture penetration and to prevent corrosion of cable armour.

A further hard setting compound seal is applied around the cable cores to form an explosion-protected seal at the point of cable entry into the enclosure. This offers the advantage that shortly after compound has hardened, the gland/cable can be easily disassembled for the inspection of the 360-degree ground connection and, if required, removed from the enclosure for maintenance work and upgrade.

Mustang Engineering in Houston (a Wood Group Company) was involved in topside design for all four installations. Additional design work was undertaken at other locations in Texas and Louisiana, where various contractors fabricated topside structures and modules for the production plant. Some heavy fabrications have come from as far as Korea and Norway. Hawke offices in Houston, the UK and Singapore, together with agents throughout the world have worked closely with the many designers and sub contractors involved.

Geologists suggest that the potential of the Gulf of Mexico has barely been tapped. If this is the case, then developments in deeper waters with more extreme conditions will create new challenges. Hawke and their specialist engineers around the world are ready to rise to the challenge.

All Hawke cable glands are designed to protect the integrity of electrical systems from water ingress in extreme conditions. Under normal conditions, continuity of production is critical to ensuring a good return on investment where vast capital expenditures are involved. Interruption from electrical failure of even minor sub-systems is costly. Therefore, the integrity of cable terminations to enclosures, junction boxes, instrumentation, lighting, control panels and other equipment is vital.

Hawke cable glands cover every termination requirement from low voltage instrumentation cables to medium/high voltage large diameter power cables. The cable glands are designed to accept different cable diameters and constructions, providing effective sealing of fire retardant cable and secure clamping of braided, armoured and metal clad cables. International testing and certification standards set the benchmark for such products. With a 50-year pedigree, Hawke pride themselves that their products exceed these standards to provide sustained safety and reliability.

Hawke International is a Hubbell Group Company and part of Hubbell Electrical Products (HEP) division.

More information:

Phil O’Connor, Hawke International
Tel. +44 (0)161 830 6698
Fax. +44 (0)161 830 6648
E-mail: Web:

Colour separation, advertising and other commercial enquiries:

Gill Bancroft
Hawke International
Tel. +44 (0)161 830 6698
Fax. +44 (0)161 830 6648

High/low resolution images are on the web at

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