A thread for anything and everything Offshore, weather about boats, barges, rigs whatever.
I’ll start it off and hope we can have lots of lighthearted stories from way back when, or the present. No controversy, insults, politics or religion please:
Back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s I used to attend moves on rigs belonging to an American company called Keydril Co.(long gone, sold to Santa Fe 1985)
They were way ahead of their time when it came to many things, incl. cleanliness in the living quarters and outside. If any leak or spill occurred, cleaning had priority over all other work. (incl. fixing the leak it appeared)
The only allowed entrance to the quarters were through the Change Rooms, where you had to change to light green inside coveralls and tennis shoes that was issued on arrival on board, even to guests.
Their rigs were painted parrot green, which was thought to be calming and make people feel at home on the farm. (Even the leg rack grease was specially made to match)
Although Keydril was a subsidiary of Gulf Oil Co (also long gone) The big boss run it like his own fiefdom. He had some ideas that was not so good, like putting sound proofing covers over the generator engines, causing difficulties for maintenance crew.
He also did not like spending money on having lifeboats installed. (until forced to)
Two of the rigs working in West Africa had a novel design, which didn’t work out as planned:
They were designed to have very shallow draft (8’) to work in the “splash zone”, but the problem was that there were no towing or anchor handling boats that could operate in such shallow water. The two times I was involved with using them in shallow water we had to improvise. First time we set up on a standby location as close as we could and used an Otis Barge to run anchors in the shallow part, then warp the rig into location.
No supply boats could come alongside the rig,except for a short period on HW Spring We rigged up a barge with a mobile crane that was moored to a buoy in deeper water. That was used as platform to bring supplies from the supply boats to the rig, hauling it back and forward using anchor winches.
The second time a “basin” was dredged around the location, with a “canal” leading to it from deeper water. This allowed us to tow the rig into place with 3 OSVs, which could also be used to run supplies later.
Coming up the “canal” I was sitting on top of the dog house with a VHF the size of lunchbox.As we approached the “basin” I wanted to call the boats to slow down, only to find that the battery was flat. Attempting to contact the jacking control room was futile, since there were nobody on the drill floor I could get hold of to call on the phone.
With frantic waving of arms I eventually managed to get them to lower the legs as a brake, but not before one of the towing vessel had run aground.
From then on I always had somebody with a second VHF with me. (Later a spare battery in the pocket when the VHFs became smaller)
They were also intended to be able to drill the wells, set the jacket and deck and lay in-field pipelines:
They had a ringer crane to lift jackets and decks, or to lift off helidecks for access to the well heads below when doing work overs. (Actually used a few times)
They were also designed with a firing line along one side and a stinger at the stern to lay pipes, but only the Key Victoria ever had the equipment installed. It was used once, but before I got involved with those two. (Later removed)
PS> Those two rigs were popularly known as the “jolly green pancakes”.
One of his idea which I liked was to have an Owners Suite on each rig, just in case he should pay a visit. (Since he seldom did I occupied it when on board as Rig mover)