Gibraltar yard open to rig repairs

The 22,604-ton semisubmersible drilling rig Etesco Millennium, built in 1976 by Marathon Le Tourneau and upgraded in 2006, is undergoing an overhaul at the Gibdock shipyard.

Dec 16th, 2011

Offshore staff

GIIBRALTAR -- The 22,604-ton semisubmersible drilling rig Etesco Millennium, built in 1976 by Marathon Le Tourneau and upgraded in 2006, is undergoing an overhaul at the Gibdock shipyard.

Steel repair work has been performed with the rig afloat. Tasks ahead include tank cleaning and repair, and work to enable safe mooring.

Currently a survey is under way of the rig structure to determine its condition, as the rig has worked offshore continually for over five years.

According to Gibdock commercial director Richard Beards: “We are optimistic that the owner will authorize further work to the rig once this survey process is completed and details of the rig’s future deployment are confirmed.”

Gibdock’s previous experience working on a drilling rig was in 1998.

“We believe that the successful completion of this project will lead to more work of this type,” Beards said. “It is part of our future strategy to get into the semisubmersible and jackup rig sector…”

To support this strategy, Gibdock has commissioned a survey of the seabed alongside its wharves. The company investigated the harbor bottom in the area of the main wharf in order to understand the suitability of the ground for landing a jackup.

According to chief executive Joe Corvelli: “The conclusion was that the area is perfectly suitable for receiving jackup spud cans and was soft enough that they would not be damaged, but hard enough that the weight would be supported and the structure safely moored.”

The investigations involved conducting a high-power deep penetrating sonar survey and taking core samples. The results were integrated to assemble a three-dimensional profile of the ground layers and their individual characteristics.

The conclusion was confirmed in a review carried out by a leading jackup rig owner and a specialist rig repair contractor with extensive experience in this area.

Beards said: “The investment we have made in this survey will reassure rig owners that we can accommodate large jackup rig projects here in Gibdock and that they can bring their rigs to Gibraltar with full confidence that there are no technical constraints.”

12/16/2011

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