Tankers Stop Drifting Runaway Rig

Wednesday, August 23, 2000
Two tankers were able to stop the drilling rig Roger W. Mowell, leased by Malaysia's Petronas and Vietnam's Oil and Gas Exploration and Exploitation Co., which had been drifting in the South China Sea since the weekend, rescue officials and industry sources said.

The rig reportedly broke away from two accompanying tankers in heavy weather Aug. 19 as it was being moved to Vietnam's Ruby oilfield. It started drifting east toward the Spratly Islands.

The tankers are pulling the rig back toward Vietnam's southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, where it is expected to arrive for inspection early next week.

Nearly 40 crew members were taken off the rig safely on Aug. 20.

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