GlobalSantaFe Corporation reported that it has accounted for all five of its drilling rigs that were in the direct path of Hurricane Katrina. All personnel on the five rigs were safely evacuated prior to the storm's arrival.
GlobalSantaFe rigs in the path of Hurricane Katrina included the GSF Development Driller II and GSF High Island VIII, which showed no signs of damage during a preliminary aerial inspection. The GSF Celtic Sea and GSF Development Driller I were listing slightly, and crews and equipment are arriving on location today to assess the condition of the rigs. The GSF Arctic I drifted off its original location and was grounded in shallow waters near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Marine surveyors will be dispatched to determine the condition of the rig.
GlobalSantaFe evacuated 972 personnel after suspending operations on 14 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico due to Hurricane Katrina, including eight jackup rigs that were outside the direct path of the storm and the GSF C.R. Luigs drillship, which was moved from Katrina's path in advance of the storm.
"Our top priority was to ensure the safety of everyone aboard our vessels, and we're grateful that our personnel were able to secure and safely evacuate our rigs with no injuries or environmental impact," said GlobalSantaFe President and CEO Jon Marshall. "We remain deeply concerned for the well- being of our off-duty personnel and for the families and friends of our co- workers adversely affected by the hurricane."
The company began re-manning its rigs this morning to assess their conditions and will provide an update when more information becomes available.