Deepwater Nautilus returns to GoM

Transocean completed repairs to its Deepwater Nautilus, which sustained damage from Hurricane Ivan last month. The ultra-deepwater semisubmersible also underwent upgrades, an underwater inspection, and survey.

Transocean completed repairs to itsDeepwater Nautilus, which sustained damage from Hurricane Ivan last month. The ultra-deepwater semisubmersible also underwent upgrades, an underwater inspection, and survey.

Workers abandoned the vessel well in advance of Hurricane Ivan, but judging by the storm track, the rig saw the worst winds and seas generated by the storm. The storm produced 120-mph winds and powerful waves in the Gulf of Mexico, including one record-setting 53-ft "rogue" wave. The storm pushed theDeepwater Nautilus 73 mi off location to the northeast where a search plane found it on Sept. 16.

The repaired equipment included the mooring system, a communications unit, and electrical paneling in the engine room.

The upgraded areas include the drawworks, PRS (pipe-racking system), and LMRP (lower marine riser package) of the blowout preventer. The LMRP was re-tubed and an upgraded rigid conduit line was built and tested. Also completed were a pin-to-bottom drawworks upgrade, numerous PRS upgrades, including cutting windows in the frame, new drive shaft couplings to eliminate spine damage, and new cartridge-type upper bearings. New PRS wiring loops were also installed.

The rig will be back on location by Oct. 30 in 8,951 ft of water, a record for a moored rig. The vessel is conducting exploration drilling for Shell.

10/28/04

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