January 9, 1982 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Jackup Griffin-Alexander VII Outfitted, Starts Drilling In Gulf Of Mexico

The mobile offshore drilling unit Griffin- Alexander VII departed from its final outfitting location at Sabine Pass, Texas, recently and went to its first drilling site off the Louisiana coast in Vermillion Block Number 292 to drill for Shell Oil Company.

The rig is the seventh Bethlehem Steel Corporation mat-type cantilevered mobile offshore drilling rig to be delivered to Griffin- Alexander Drilling Company in the past 16 months. The Griffin-Alexander VII was christened by its sponsor, Mrs. Jo Ann Blackburn, wife of Charles Blackburn, executive vice president of Shell Oil Company, prior to its being moved to Sabine Pass for final outfitting.

The Griffin-Alexander VII was delivered 32 days ahead of schedule by Bethlehem's Beaumont, Texas, yard.

Loy D. Griffin, chairman of Griffin-Alexander, said that with the financing of Griffin- Alexander VII, his company has successfully completed in excess of $250 million in equity and debt financing in the 31 months since the construction contract for Griffin Alexander I was signed with Bethlehem in December 1979. Industry sources indicated that this is a record for an offshore drilling company less than three years old. Major participants in these financial arrangements were investment bankers Jones, Loyd and Webster; First City National Bank of Houston ; Det Norske Creditbank; and Shearson- American Express, Inc.

Headquarters for Griffin-Alexander Drilling Company's worldwide operations are in Houston and recently were relocated to the new Benchmark Building on Northwest Freeway and Tidwell where the company became the first tenant of the building.

Griffin-Alexander's main operations office is in Lafayette, La., with field offices in Aracaju, Brazil, and Bombay, India.

In addition to Mr. Griffin, the principal officers of Griffin-Alexander are J.W. Alexander, president: R.B. Linke, vice president, operations; and William A. Elmer, vice president, finance.

The Griffin-Alexander VII is the first of a new series of Bethlehem 250-foot water depth, cantilevered, mat-supported rigs.

It has been designed to solve "footprint" problems; the mat of the rig has been specially strengthened so that the holes, or "footprints" left by other rigs next to a platform will not interfere with its position.

The rig can work more than 75 percent of the areas of all known and anticipated oil reserves in the continental shelves of the world, and 90 percent of the total world jackup territory.

On location the rig has a total variable load capacity of 4.5 million pounds, which includes a maximum drilling load of 1 million pounds. At the rig's maximum cantilever reach of 45 feet, the drilling load capacity is 750,000 pounds at the rig centerline.

Other stories from January 9, 1982 issue


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