Offshore Rig Pounded By Rogue Wave, Taking On Water

Offshore Rig Pounded By Rogue Wave, Taking On Water


Platform not tilting and in no danger of sinking
by John Pendleton  |   Thursday, April 17, 2014
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On Tuesday morning the U.S. Coast Guard received a distress call from a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The call came from the ENSCO 8506, a semi-submersible rig doing conducting exploratory operations for Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

The Liberian-flagged rig is about 130 miles offshore from Galveston, Texas, and is in about 3,500 feet of water. Built in 2012, ENSCO 8506 is "Waiting on Location" meaning that it is in standby mode and although it is in-position, the unit is not currently drilling.

The Coast Guard reported that the rig was hit by a large wave during a storm on Tuesday morning and had sustained some damage. Weather conditions later in the day were described as winds of just over 25 miles per hour with 12-foot seas, but that was calmer than the situation was earlier in the day. The wave pushed the massive platform, with a main deck measuring 60,000 square feet, about 55 feet out of position and damaged one of three watertight chambers in one of the unit's six ballast columns.

There have been no reports of injuries or fluid losses and no evacuations are planned for any of the 116 crew members. The rig is continuing to maintain an even keel and is able to keep a stable position without using the emergency pumps or performing an emergency disconnect from the riser.

The Coast Guard has deployed the Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack from Galveston, an HU-25 Falcon airplane has been dispatched from Air Station Corpus Christi to assist if necessary and the offshore supply vessel Glomar Royal is nearby to help out if needed.

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