ANTWERP, Belgium – Hydrex has performed repairs to a semisubmersible platform in Veracruz, Mexico.
The facility, which had just completed an offshore oil and gas project, needed 12 replacement seals on its two stern tube assemblies.
It was berthed in Veracruz in August when Hydrex was called in to evaluate the damage and effect repair.
On arrival, the team removed the rope guard of the portside stern tube seal assembly to perform an underwater inspection.
They then installed an underwater mobile dock to provide repair technicians with a dry environment in which to work, subsequently removing the four damaged aft seals one at a time and replaced them with new versions.
They also replaced two forward seals. After reassembly and completion of leak tests had verified oil-tight integrity, the team evaluated the damage to the six starboard seals, following the same procedures.
Dave Bleyenberg, Hydrex Production Executive, said: “Damaged stern tube seals will often cause an increasing amount of oil leaking or water ingress as the damage worsens. By replacing the seals when the damage is first discovered, down time is kept to a minimum.
“Oil leakages can also produce a potential or actual liability when for instance going to the United States or other ecologically sensitive areas. When they have a leaking stern tube, ships are often not allowed to enter ports, or they can receive heavy fines.”
Environmental considerations frequently demand that damaged stern tube seals are repaired as they happen and in the shortest possible time frame, he added, because of the estimated 57 million liters of lubricating oil that leak to the sea each year.
Repairs in this case were completed without the need to move the platform to drydock.