IHI To Build World's First Mobile Arctic Caisson Rig For Beaufort Sea

Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., jointly with Mitsui & Co., Ltd., both of Japan, recently received an order for a mobile Arctic caisson rig, the first of its kind in the world, from Gulf Canada Resources Inc., a group company of Gulf Oil of the USA. The contract was concluded recently between the parties concerned in Canada.

The steel caisson rig, to be used for oil development in the Arctic Ocean, will measure 111 by 111 meters (364 by 364 feet) in the lower section, 86.6 by 86.6 meters (284 by 284 feet) in the upper section, and 29 meters (95 feet) in height, and have a working water depth of 21 meters (69 feet). The total weight will be about 33,000 tons.

To be built at IHI's Aichi Works, the huge caisson rig will be delivered toward the end of March 1984 and then towed to the Arctic Ocean.

The drilling rig will be used for the oil development now being conducted in the Canadian Reaufort Sea by Gulf Canada Resources Inc. Conventional type oil drilling rigs cannot be used in the Arctic Ocean because of severe problems with solid and drift ice. As a result, the usual method has been to install rigs on artificial islands constructed of earth or sand. This method requires that a new artificial island be constructed in the harsh working environment every time the drilling point is changed.

The new mobile Arctic caisson rig can be seated on a simple foundation built in the sea. When drilling at any point is completed, the rig is floated and moved to the next drilling point, as in the case of conventional rigs.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 55,  Oct 1981 Virginia

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Maritime Reporter

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