G e n s t a r Uses N o v e l T e c h n i q ue T o Launch P e t r o b r a s D r i l l i n g Rig
A novel technique using two of Seaspan's submersible heavy-lift vessels was used to launch a Petrobas drilling rig at the U.I.E. yard in Cherbourg, France. The 11,000-ton Petrobras XVI, measuring 302 by 226 by 130 feet, with the 160-foot derrick erected, was skidded on board and successfully launched into its proper element in a joint effort between U.I.E., the builder, and Genstar Marine, offshore marine and equipment contractors. Genstar used its identical sister vessels, Genmar 104 and Genmar 106, catamaran style to execute the task, which was performed in 10 days from skid-on to launch. The company's Offshore Division conceived the launching idea while transporting the two flotation pontoons for the drill unit from St. Nazaire to Cherbourg earlier in the year.
This unusual construction method, where large components of the drill rig are built at several places using Genstar Marine equipment and services for the assembly and launching, is a technique offering a modern, flexible alternative to traditional shipbuilding techniques.
Genstar believes the adoption of this technique can offer the builders and operators the benefit of shorter overall construction time at existing fabricating facilities, providing more cost-efficient solutions to building semi-submersible structures of all kinds for drilling, offshore construction, and early production systems.