Report: Transocean boss sorry for the rig grounding mishap (UK)

Transocean’s operations director Dave Wells is sorry for the inconvenience caused by the grounding of the company’s drilling rig on a beach in Scotland.

To remind, the Transocean Winner semi-submersible drilling unit was under tow in the North Sea, on its way to Malta, when severe weather caused the towline to snap, blowing the rig ashore on a beach in Dalmore, near Carloway.

According to a report by BBC on Friday, Walls, responsible for the driller’s ops in north-west Europe, said: “Our primary focus is the safe removal of the rig. How I feel personally, I am extremely sorry for the inconvenience we have caused to the community. I am also extremely grateful for the support and the friendship.”

Meanwhile, a 300-meter exclusion zone has been set up around the grounding spot, including drone and helicopter flights, as preparations are being made to refloat the drilling unit.

The salvors are waiting for high tide in order to tow the rig off the beach, however, BBC writes, even if refloated during the weekend, the rig would remain not too far from the shore, to allow for further inspections to be made.

More equipment aboard

According to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s update on Friday, preparations for the refloat of the Transocean Winner continue as more equipment arrives onboard the grounded rig.

Compressors are being brought in to be used to provide buoyancy for the refloat. However, the MCA says it’s not sure exactly when this refloat will happen.

At a public meeting last night representatives from Transocean and Smit confirmed that they would not go ahead with the refloat until they were satisfied all the preparations were complete.

Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage & Intervention, also last night reiterated his commitment to making sure that the local community is kept fully informed about the progress of the operation to move the rig.

He said: “As soon as I am in a position to share when this is going to happen, I’ll do so. The community has been supportive of us in our work and we – in return – have done our utmost to make sure they know what we’re doing and how and when.”

According to the MCA, Transocean has confirmed it started the operation Thursday to remove some of the diesel oil in the pontoon. This will continue Friday. A verification flight by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s counter-pollution team has been carried out following that work and there is no evidence of pollution in the area.

To remind, the MCA said Thursday that an exercise to test out procedures in the event of any diesel oil being spilled would be carried out on Friday, August 19 starting at around 9am.

“It’s a proactive test to look at how quickly equipment could be deployed from Carloway to various locations. This exercise is weather and operationally dependent,” the agency said.

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Offshore Energy Today Staff


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