Jackup For Houston Offshore Commissioned At Bethlehem Yard

Houston Offshore International, Inc., and Bethlehem Steel Corporation's S p a r r o w s P o i n t (Md.) yard recently commissioned the first mobile offshore jackup oildrilling platform to be constructed in the United States outside the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was christened the Sabine III by its sponsor, Mrs. Anne D. Moriniere of Houston, wife of John C. Moriniere, vice president of finance for Houston Offshore International.

Several hundred guests toured the Sabine III prior to the cere- mony, and comments were made by R.M. Smith, vice chairman, Bethlehem Steel; Governor Harry Hughes of Maryland; Jerry E.

Chiles, president of Houston Offshore; and George S. Hamilton, general manager of the Sparrows Point yard.

"The Sabine III, now several days ahead of its delivery schedule, is the first offshore drilling rig built by Sparrows Point, and the first of five on order at the yard to be completed," Mr. Hamilton said. The Sabine Ill's keel was laid October 1, 1980, and its launching was March 15, 1981.

The rigs has been towed to a location just south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge where the topmost sections of the three 269- foot columns and the drilling derrick will be attached. Following the erection of these final sections, the rig will begin an approximate 24-day, 2,150-mile tow to a drilling location near Galveston, Texas, where it will work for Exxon Company, U.S.A.

Sabine III is the third of four such vessels built for Houston Offshore by Bethlehem Steel and d e s i g n e d by the corporation's shipyard in Beaumont, Texas. The Beaumont yard delivered Sabine I in 1979 and Sabine II in 1980, and Bethlehem Singapore Private Limited, located in the Republic of Singapore, will deliver Sabine IV in June this year.

Sabine III can be operated in waters of up to 200 feet while e x p e r i e n c i n g forces resulting from 70-knot winds and 33-foot seas. It consists of a platform measuring 157 feet by 132 feet supported by three 11-foot-diameter columns fixed to a supporting mat that is 220 feet by 185 feet.

The rig, designed for deep-well drilling, features a cantilevered structure. This structure provides the capability to position the drill floor over existing offshore production platforms in order to drill developmental wells or to rework existing wells. On location, the rig will have a total variable load capacity of 2,250 tons and handle hook loads of up to one million pounds on wells as far as 35 feet aft of the platform deck. Its maximum cantilever reach is 45 feet.

The Sabine Ill's onboard, airconditioned living quarters will accommodate 50 persons. They include sleeping quarters, a galley, and medical, laundry, lounge, and recreation facilities. The rig was designed and built to comply with U.S. Coast Guard and American Bureau of Shipping safety and construction standards.

Other stories from June 1981 issue


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