|Noble Clyde Boudreaux: Noble Corp|
To be able to fly out to the rig from Broome, I had to complete a two day basic safety and survival course which included HUET - Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. To be able to fly offshore, trainees need to successfully complete eight evacuations from a submerged, inverted helicopter. No-one particularly enjoys this component of the training, which thankfully is valid for four years.
The helicopter ride out to the rig was uneventful until we descended over the patch and a whole tableaux unfolded. Within visual distance of the helicopter were the rigs Jack Bates (INPEX), ENSCO 5006, Noble Clyde Boudreaux and construction vessel Aegir along with their support fleet of supply vessels - no photographs permitted unfortunately, all cameras had to stowed in our luggage.
Once aboard the Noble Clyde Boudreaux, the size and complexity of the rig was astounding. Crew and contractors undertaking the physical drilling, mud analysis, locating where the drill bit was located in relation to the gas reservoir, ballasting the rig, loading and unloading stores...
As dawn broke on Tuesday, our PSV 'Far Skimmer' was close alongside under the port crane discharging drill string and back-loading empty equipment containers. As a Farstad employee, I was proud to be able to point out the vessel's features and describe how she maintained station in Dynamic Positioning mode only 20 metres of the rig's submerged pontoon hulls.
|Far Skimmer close alongside NCB: BigFella|
Back from the rig in Broome, I had two days visiting 'Far Skimmer's sister 'Far Sitella', also supporting Noble Clyde Boudreaux and our Anchor Handler 'Far Strait' supporting the INPEX rigs in the same patch. A good week, back to reality on Friday.
The Antipodean Mariner