Bethlehem's Sparrows Point Y a r d Gets First Drilling Rig Contract

Houston Offshore International, Inc., has a w a r d e d B e t h l e h em Steel Corporation's shipyard at Sparrows Point, Md., a contract for construction of an offshore oil drilling rig. Announcement of the contract was made by Jerry E.

Chiles, president of Houston Offshore, and David H. Klinges, vice president in charge of shipbuilding, Bethlehem Steel.

This marks the first time that the Sparrows Point yard has received a contract for an offshore drilling rig, although the yard has built several mats (the part of a jackup rig that rests on the ocean floor) that have been incorporated into rigs built at B e t h l e h e m 's shipyard in Beaumont, Texas.

The latter yard has long been a leader in constructing equipment for the offshore drilling and production industry. The rig ordered by Houston Offshore is a design developed at the Beaumont yard, which has delivered a number of rigs of such design. This rig is the third ordered by Houston Offshore from Bethlehem; the previous two were built at Beaumont.

Mr. Klinges said that he expects the work on the rig will provide about a year's employment for 300 to 400 employees at the Sparrows Point yard. Fabrication is scheduled to begin in May this year, with delivery expected in June 1981.

The unit will have a cantilevered drill floor. This feature permits exploratory or developmental drilling from 15 feet to 45 feet aft of the platform while it is cantilevered over existing wellhead structures. With hook plus s e t b a c k loads of one million pounds and full-size drilling equipment, the rig will be ideally suited for deep-well drilling in water depths ranging from 11 to 200 feet.

The rig will consist of a buoyant upper platform hull 157 feet long by 132 feet wide supported by a mat foundation 220 feet long by 185 feet wide. Three 11-footdiameter columns affixed to the mat and passing up through the platform will provide the means for the platform to be jacked above the water to provide sufficient wave clearance.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 26,  May 1980

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.