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Fast out of the blocks for Transocean’s new driller's cabin


Hired by the world’s largest

When the world’s largest oil and gas driller, Transocean, asked Semco Maritime’s Rigs division to replace the drillers cabin and control systems on a rig moored at Bergen in Norway, they jumped at the chance to show what they can do. There was just one catch: they only had 14 days to assemble all the necessary materials, equipment and manpower. For Semco Maritime’s Rigs division, it was business as usual.

Transocean has a fleet of over 150 rigs, making it the world’s largest rig operator. At the moment, 23 of them are operating in the North Sea. And one of these, the TRANSOCEAN Arctic was due to be moored in Bergen, Norway, when Semco Maritime was called in to contribute to a major rig upgrade.

Semco Maritime’s brief was to pull out the rig’s original driller's cabin, which dated back to 1983, and install a 3.5-tonne, 25m2 skid-mounted unit designed and built by another contractor. This would then be connected to 15 new control cabinets around the rig via all-new electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems. All this had to be completed in under two and a half months. But the real challenge was to have the materials, equipment and team sourced and ready for project launch in under two weeks.

Challenging logistics

Semco Maritime quickly assembled a 100-strong team. “The logistics were tough, especially with such a tight schedule,” says Project Manager, Christian Hougaard. “We flew a lot of people to Bergen where they went through safety courses before work could get underway. And we had up to 36 people working on each shift so that work could continue round the clock.”

In all, Semco Maritime planned for 14,000 man-hours to provide the rig with an advanced, comfortable driller's cabin with plenty of room for two people. “We replaced rows of analogue knobs and switches with six computer screens, two keyboards and a few joysticks,” explains Christian Hougaard. “Now Transocean doesn’t need any downtime between controllers’ shifts. And the people in the cabin have proper heating and an interior for working comfortably in the harsh North Sea environment.  

“We made sure that maintenance teams would be able to access all junction boxes and pneumatic and hydraulic connections without the need for scaffolding,” says Christian. “Now maintenance will be much easier, and we’ve lowered Transocean’s overall cost of ownership.” The project, which started on 28 August 2009, was completed according to plan before the November deadline.

Like to learn more ?

If you want to find out what Semco Maritime’s Rigs division can do for your company, call us on +45 7916 6666 or drop us a line at semco@semcomaritime.dk with the Subject, “Rig upgrades.”