Even before the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., the offshore market
in the Gulf of Mexico had shown signs of weakening. However one shipyard - Atlantic Marine-Mobile - has reported a steady flow of work with the award of several, substantial offshore refurbishment contracts in recent months. The shipyard in Mobile has a long history with the offshore market, but it notes that 2001 has been particularly busy. Semi-submersible and jack-up rigs have occupied the Mobile, Alabama facility throughout 2001. The influx of offshore work includes the following.
ENSCO International's jack-up rig ENSCO 68, arrived in Mobile in late March. The rig was in the yard for routine maintenance and class inspection, including the installation of a new top drive and upgraded drill floor to increase its drilling depth capacity. The job included about 85 tons of steel replacement, and the yard accomplished the work 10 days ahead of schedule. ENSCO 94 immediately followed, and was scheduled to leave the yard in early October. It was in the yard for drill floor modifications to allow for the installation of a new derrick in order to increase its drilling depth capacity, as well. On this job, 85 tons of steel renewal was required.
Atwood Oceanics' semi-submersible Atwood Hunter entered the yard in June for a major upgrade. Hunter will have all new crew quarters - accommodating 120 people - installed, as well as a new 75-ton crane. All derrick and drilling equipment will be upgraded along with a complete renewal of the piping systems, to accommodate the rig's capacity o drill a well depth up to 25,000 ft. This was a substantial steel job, involving the replacement of about 750 tons of steel. Upon leaving the shipyard in October, hunter will begin a contract in the Egyptian territorial waters of the Mediterranean Sea for Burullus Gas Company, drilling 11 wells.
Atlantic Marine-Mobile was also awarded the contract for the drydocking refurbishment and upgrades to the semi-submersible, Semi-1, due to the capability of the shipyard's Drydock Alabama. The Semi 1 maintenance rig is managed by Mantenimiento Marino de Mexico (MMM), a joint venture of Halliburton and Groupo R. It measures 210 x 161 ft.
The Alabama accommodates vessels up to 950 ft. long and 164 ft. wide, and has a lifting capacity of 50,000 LT. The Alabama can drydock several designs of jack-up rigs including the Bethlehem 100 and 150, the Baker Marine
BMC-200 and the Penn Engineering four-leg jack-up.
Work on Semi 1 was accomplished in 18 days on the drydock, work that included substantial improvements to the galley and computer room, and to the accommodation's ventilation system. Atlantic Marine-Mobile performed a complete teardown and rebuild of thruster no. 4, and the yard assisted with the overhaul and testing of the rig's 225-ton main crane. Overhauls were performed on the giant, telescoping gangway. Atlantic also installed a new hydraulic firefighting booster pump in the pontoon, including new hydraulic piping and discharge piping. Finally, the rig received a complete five-year paint system.