Archive for the ‘My Work’ Category
Finally made it home, fog grounded all helicopters for 5 days and a power cut at Aberdeen airport didn’t help.
The last move was all about getting a Flotel up close and personal to a platform, close enough to install a bridge between the two so workers could eat and sleep on the flotel and work on the platform.
This was done successfully with the help of the AHV’s Balder Viking, Brage Viking, Magne Viking and the Island Vanguard and with a great team of people.
Here is the platform the Gannet A from a stand-off location.
One of the AHV’s
And the reason we couldn’t get off the Flotel, got to say thanks to Jim for drinking all his coffee, eating all the Tab Nabs and just annoying him for those extra days.
This job is quite a complex one, the flotel is held in position with 12 anchors, 6 of theses anchors have been pre-laid and 6 we are deploying now, the pre-laid anchors were done a while ago and the chain ends were buoyed off. Now we are back on location the AHV’s have to grab the buoys and pull them up on deck, disconnect the buoy and connect either the anchor chain or rope inserts and then connect the other end to the rig, here’s the guys on deck of one of the AHV’s grabbing one of the buoys.
First the AHV slowly moves toward the buoy.
As it gets closer the guys on deck get ready and between two of them throw a cable around the buoy.
Once lassoed the winch driver pulls the buoy up and over the roller.
And then made secure on deck, all in a days work for these guys.
Here we are almost on location and the wind picks up, 30 knot winds aren’t good when you are moving a large Flotel next to a platform, at the moment we have moved a safe distance away and have four vessels holding us here, three of the boats are Viking boats so I had to try a panorama and see if I could get them all in.
Here is a couple on their own, in the winter these boat spend a lot of time way up north breaking up the ice sheets.
You can just make out a FPSO on the horizon.
We can’t forget the other boat, the Island Vanguard, there is a couple of our guys on it, feeling a bit queasy I bet.
Getting off one rig and going straight out to another, wasn’t to bad, travelling all day, including two flights and a two hour train journey, wasn’t to bad, the taxi driver dropping us off at the gate and a half mile walk with bags to the rig, wasn’t to bad. Arriving as the base of the rig and seeing 157 steps to climb, with bags, in the dark, that was bad, I hate steps.
It didn’t look that bad from back here.
Looking from here I was hoping they would send the crane down, at least for our bags.
We managed the steps and after a safety brief made our way to our cabins, this rig is a Flotel, accommodation only, so it’s quiet and clean, even outside. At full capacity it can sleep around 350 people, but as we are moving it to a new location after a re-fit in Copenhagen there is only 52 of us onboard.
Here’s something I don’t get to see every day, a Maersk Supply boat having some work done in dry dock. Cool.
Have a great weekend.
Left the Maersk Resilient on Monday, job went well and it was time to get home, there is a group of people on a rig that do an outstanding job, now as a third party worker I move from rig to rig and as I meet people that do a similar job we always compare rigs we’ve worked on, now we could say things like “Hey is that the one with a Derrick 210′ x 45′ x 45′; and a Capacity of 1,500,000 lbs, and 3 Mud Pumps and that Rotary Table, 49.5 in. diameter with 99,500 ft.lbs torque and 40 RPM. Opening 49 1/2″ and Max. load of 800 t”.
No we don’t, it goes something like this, “hey didn’t I see you on the JW McLean, that cheese cake is to die for, and steak night is something else, see for us, rigs are remembered by their food and how we are looked after, and this brings me back to this fantastic group of guys and girls,who without, a rig would very quickly become not a very nice place to be.
This of course this is the catering crew and the stewards, and on the Maersk Resilient they were right up there with the best, cabins were spotless and the food, well I’ll let these couple of shots speak for themselves, this is a normal Saturday dinner on the MR.
Now this is just the cold buffet, the hot stuff was on the other side.
I never did make it home, after one night in Aberdeen I flew out to Copenhagen and have joined another rig, let’s see if this one can come close to the MR.
Thanks again to all the staff on the MR and all the rigs I have been on. (I’m never going to lose weight.)
Well it was actually Invergordon wishing us Bon Voyage, or maybe they were glad to see us leave, having such a large rig on your doorstep could be a bit of an eye sore. Still I suppose they must be use to it by now.
Anyway, this is the view as we departed Invergordon, Invergordon in the background with HMS Sutherland moored in front.
HMS Sutherland is a Type 23 frigate of the British Royal Navy. She is the thirteenth ship in the Duke class of frigates and is the third ship to bear the name, more than 200 years since the name was last used.
She was launched in 1996 by Lady Christina Walmsley, wife of Sir Robert Walmsley KCB. Before this occasion, Royal Navy ships had always been launched with a bottle of champagne, but Lady Walmsley broke with tradition and used a bottle of Macallan Whiskey.
On the way now, bit of a job for the Pilot, he has to negotiate a path through the rigs left here to die and rigs coming in for work to be carried out, first on the right is the J W McLean, I was part on the team who brought this rig in for its last time, not sure of its furture.
Second one is the Will Hunter which is coming in to have some work done, it arrived a couple of days ago, we flew over it arriving, seeing the AHV’s doing their stuff from above was a new perspective for me, normally it’s all at sea level.
Almost out into open water, you can just make out the pilot up on the helideck directing the tow vessel.
Looking back toward Invergordon.
That set of legs you can see have been there for years, I heard the top of a once working rig was brought by a Russia company, the legs were left and looks like they can’t even be sold for scrap, which seems a shame, they don’t look that nice and would make navigating the channel a bit easier.
If anyone knows if that is correct or have another story about them let me know.
This is the other side of the entrance, looks like a bit of a gun emplacement going on their, I hope when it was maned there was a bridge of some sorts going to it.
I’m back at work tomorrow, flying up to Inverness and then hire car to Invergordon, I’ve never stayed in the town of Invergordon before, always on a rig, so I might have time to explore a bit, If I do i’ll try a snap a few off and show you the place.
I’m joining the Maersk Resilient which is a large Jack-up, it’s one I was on a couple of xmases ago.
Here’s a shot of Invergordon from a rig’s point of view.
Here’s a shot of the Jack-up in the first picture I took a long time ago, I’ll be surprised if its still there.
Some of the locals just carry on as if nothing is happening.
Digging through some old photos I found a rig move we did out of Dundee, I haven’t spent any time in Dundee so don’t know much about the place except what I just read on Wiki and it does sound like a pretty cool place.
We joined a jack-up called the Rowan Viking, this was brand new and wasn’t long here from Singapore, however if I remember it did sit in Dundee for a few months before I joined, due to red tape.
It a pretty big rig, 264′ in length and 289′ wide and can accommodate 120 people and can drill to a depth of 35000′.
At last we are on our way.
And I couldn’t resist a HDR of Dundee.
Just finished a 235 mile tow which only took 48hours, just put 8 Anchors on the seabed in 12hours and now I’m chilling, I’ve been on nights so feel very tired, to combat this I had two deserts, I think my body was craving a sugar rush, trouble is now I can’t sleep.
Anyway here are a couple of shots of the move taken with my iPhone,
This is the tow vessel, it’s the Olympic Zeus, I’ve posted it before, it has something like 25,000 HP and a bollard pull of 250 tons so has no problem pulling us along at five knots.
And a very nice day in the North Sea.
This is the Rig, you can see by the wake we are making we are cruising along very nicely.
Have a great weekend, I’ll still be on here, chilling.
Well after another successful rig move in the North Sea I thought it was about time I shared some more details about how and why we move these things, Why? well that’s easy, drill more holes! Get more Oil/Gas. Actually it’s not just that, a lot of rig moves will be to work on and repair sub sea assets, more about that if I ever find out more about that.
This last move was a re-entry, meaning we were putting the rig back on a location that had been drilled/worked on before. Sounds easy? Sort of, That is if you get it on the correct location, it’s easy to tell once you send a ROV down because you will see the assets on the sea bed, Tolerance on this sort of move is about 1 meter, on the other hand if it’s an open location, (meaning nothing on the sea bed) tolerance is around 5-10 meters.
For those of you who don’t know, a Semi-submersible (half above water, half below) drilling rig is held in position by 8 or 12 large anchors, around 12-15 tons, these are spread out around the rig evenly, So after the normal safety talks and meetings it’s time to start, we normally use 2 or 3 AHV’s (Anchor Handling Vessels, a Big Boat) These vessels all have Nav systems onboard, basically a laptop where they can see the rig, the anchor positions and themselves and the other AHV’s all live, if they move in the water they move on the screen.
For the first part of the move the AHV will come in close to the rig and we will past down the PCP (Permanent Chasing Pennant), This is a collar permanently attached to the anchor chain and a 150 meter cable with a socket in the end, once passed down the the AHV it is attached to the boats work wire.
Here you can see a PCP wire cable running down the leg and into the water, when it appears again, it’s the short bit of chain and then the collar.
The AHV’s work wire running down the deck. I took this shot while we were just standing by, if we had been working I would not be allowed on the back deck.
Once attached, the AHV will proceed out to the anchor following a line on the nav screen.
Now another thing we had to do on this rig move was De-ballast before any anchors were recovered, why I hear you ask? Either you asked that question or were so bored you have already gone onto the next blog, but i’ll tell you anyway.
So what happens is, the anchor is lifted off the sea bed, brought up to the stern roller of the AHV, checked out and then the rigs large winches will haul in the anchor chain and store it in the chain lockers, but what do we do with the anchor then? we need to put it somewhere, so we rack it on these things.
Just under the fairleads (the wheels with the anchor chains going through) is the cowcatcher, (not sure if thats the real name for them) this is where the anchors are racked, they hook under the CC and the winch pulls tight and they don’t move. Now some of you will see the problem here, I’ll show you another photo of the rig we just moved at transit draft, meaning it’s de-ballast.
Now you see the problem, if we don’t de-ballast, the fairleads and the cow catchers are under water and we can’t see them to rack the anchors. You can see here how the rig floats in the water when it’s at working draft by the marks on the legs, this is now at transit draft, up on the pontoons ready for towing.
Now to get the rig up to transit draft is just a matter of pumping out all the water and up she comes, now you are waiting for me to say, Ah but it’s not as easy as that, and no it is really that easy. Oh but there is one sticky bit, the whole process of de-ballasting can take up to 12 hours and during a 3-4 hour period when the cross braces are coming out of the water is the critical time, during this time the rig is very unstable, no helicopters can land and no cranes and work, in fact if like me and you had to many mince pies at xmas you have to get yourself a PP (Porky Partner), now during the critical stage your PP must be at the opposite side of the rig to you, I work forward so my PP has to work aft, he wants to go to the mess for lunch on the port side, I have to go sit on the starboard side, it’s easy once you get use to it, during this very rig move I forgot to tell my PP I was going for a salad, I was in the mess and suddenly in he walked, the look of shock and horror on his face said it all when he saw me………..eating the last of the chocolate double ripple ice cream. Ok I just made that last bit up but the rest about the helicopters and cranes is all true.
Once all the anchors are racked and a boat is on the tow bridle we can start the move, here is a racked anchor. You can see one racked and the other chain where that anchor has been removed.
It’s as simple as that, all in a days work, or 10.
P.S. You know I don’t mean the dummies bit.