12 Foot Seas Damage Huge ENSCO Semi-submersible?

Rob Almeida
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April 16, 2014

The first ENSCO 8500 series rig was delivered in 2008 by Keppel Corp

The U.S. Coast Guard received a report this week from the ENSCO 8506 that the rig had begun taking on water into a ballast tank after a “large wave” hit it 100 miles south of Galveston.

By large wave, they were referring to a wave which appeared amid an average sea state of around 12 feet driven by 20 knot sustained winds.

Such damage is alarming considering the ENSCO 8506 is a two year old rig capable of drilling in 8,500 feet of water.  It also has a  34 foot air gap underneath it.

The Coast Guard notes one of the rig’s column ballast tanks had been damaged and was taking on water – although the ballast pumps were keeping up with the water ingress.

In a phone call with the Coast Guard today, they note the situation is stable and the Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack will be remaining on standby in Galveston in case assistance is needed.

The rig was not drilling at the time of the incident, although its BOP was latched up to the well head in 3,800 feet of water.


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