Fugro Seacore Installs Australia’s Largest Platform

August 2012, Vol. 239 No. 8

Fugro Seacore (FSCL) has just completed the jacket installation works on the North Rankin B platform in Australia. Fugro Seacore designed, built and operated two large pile top drills for Heerema Marine Contractors for jacket installation work of the platform substructure.

The North Rankin B platform is Australia’s largest offshore platform, measuring 100 meters long by 50 meters wide and weighing 25,000 tons, it was installed alongside the existing North Rankin A platform, and connected by two new 100-meter bridges. It is part of the North Rankin 2 Project, a A$5 billion investment announced in 2008 for the North Rankin and Perseus gas fields offshore Australia.

In April 2008 Heerema Marine Contractors Australia signed a contract with Woodside Energy as operator, on behalf of Australia’s NWSV (North West Shelf Venture), for the transport and installation of the North Rankin B Platform substructure and topside, and approached FSCL to tender for the design and build of two large pile top drills and three complete drill strings for the jacket installation works.

FSCL was awarded the contract to design and build the equipment for Heerema and were again successful in winning a further tender to operate the drills for Heerema for the jacket installation works.

The design process involved FSCL, Heerema and Det Norske Veritas (DNV). The drills were fabricated by FSCL at their headquarters at Falmouth in Cornwall, UK, using in-house facilities. A stringent and strenuous testing regime followed in FSCL’s yard.
Once testing was complete, the drills were rebuilt into two complete masts, and two complete base sections; and shipped to Batam, Indonesia. In Batam, they were fully rebuilt and function-tested, along with the complete bottom hole assemblies. All the equipment was then loaded on Heerema’s semi-submersible crane vessel for arrival in September 2011.

The drilling works began in November after jacket launching, set down and driving of the primary piles. The FSCL drill team achieved drilling speeds of up to 36 meters per hour during operations, drilling in 2,480-mm diameter piles in water depth of 125 meters. The complete sockets were finished in an average of 32 hours.

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