Hoping Not to Meet Harvey

I’m heading out to work early in the morning. I have a 2 AM wakeup call so I can meet the bus that will get us to the dock by 5 AM. That’s where we’ll hop on the crew boat to take us out to the rig I’ll be working on for the next 6 weeks.

I was so excited to finally be going back offshore for a halfway decent hitch. Six weeks sailing as DPO will do wonders for my mindset (and my bank account). All was going well (with just a few minor annoyances) until I happened to hear about Harvey.

At the moment, it’s just a tropical depression. Hanging out just to the North of the Yucatan Peninsula. Predictions are for it to strengthen over the next couple of days. Even becoming a hurricane by landfall (Friday).

Of course, no one can ever predict what a tropical storm or hurricane will do with 100% certainty, but it has me worried about my property. I’m even a little skittish about my own self going out to join this vessel that I really have no idea about.

I’ve never sailed on anything like it before. For one thing, it’s round. Here’s a picture I got off the internet.

But it is a semisubmersible dynamically positioned drilling rig and I’ve worked on plenty of those. I hope the ballast system isn’t as convoluted as the last one I worked on. 🙁

I assume it’s much bigger than it looks in that photo. According to the specs, she’s 100 m  diameter. Built in 2013, so shouldn’t be in too bad of shape (unless she’s been stacked for a while). I haven’t found anything yet about her contract status. Hopefully they found a decent contract and she’ll be working for a while.

It’s been way too long of a dry spell for so many of us out here. Let’s hope things are finally starting to turn around. 🙂

If you don’t hear from me in a while, it’s just because I might not have much internet access or time at work to get online. I’ll be back when I can. Hope you’ll stick around. 🙂

End of Well

We should be finishing up this well sometime tonight and probably getting underway tomorrow. That means I’ll be even more busy (with less time to blog) than usual.

I’m not used to these drilling rigs yet. I’ve only been doing it off and on for the last couple of years. I’m a mariner, not a driller. 😉

I do find it amazing how fast they get the job done on these rigs over here in Africa. In the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), I seem to remember it taking many months to drill a well.

Here it seems to take them only a few weeks. I’m sure part of the reason is that these ships are the latest and greatest (so far)- 6th generation dual derrick drill ships. They can use both derricks at once, that saves them a LOT of time.

Ocean Rig Olympia

Ocean Rig Olympia

I hear this next job will only take a week or so. That one is only putting down the ‘top-hole’, it’s not the same thing as drilling a well.

This kind of work keeps me MUCH more busy than I usually am offshore. I’m learning a lot, which is always good. I just hope it doesn’t get too stressful (it’s ALWAYS stressful when we’re moving).

It should only take us a couple of hours to get there once we finally get underway. The new well is only about 12 miles from where we’re at right now. What takes time is getting underway and then getting set up again once we reach our new location.

Our drillers and subsea guys have to pick up all the riser and the BOP. We (DPOs and ROV guys) have to pick up all our transponders and then secure our transducer poles for our acoustic reference system. All that can take quite a while.

When we get to our new location, we have to do all that in reverse. We will also spend a lot of time and effort to calibrate all our equipment so that it all works as well as possible.

I’m looking forward to the move, but a little nervous too. :-/

PS- I was on the Olympia last hitch, but these are not my photos, (I got them from googling “drillships”)