A jack-up rig, described by the owner and its builder as the largest of the type in the world has set out on a 12,345 nautical miles long journey.
Boarded on a 223 meters long heavy-lift transportation vessel, the Hawk, the ultra-harsh environment rig left the shipyard earlier this week. The Hawk needed to be ballasted 20.5 metres (67ft) below water to accept the rig on board.
Next stop, Walvis Bay, Namibia. Once in Walvis Bay, the Hawk vessel, owned by OHT AS, a Norwegian oil service company, will change crew and resupply and then move on to its final destination, Norway, with some more short stops during the trip.
The rig is expected to reach Norway in October 2014, where it will be named, prior to starting its five-year contract with Det norske in the North Sea.
The giant jack-up, with 206.8 meters long legs, and designed for year round operations in the North Sea in water depths up to 150 meters, will be used for drilling at the Ivar Aasen development.
Looking at the map, one might ask why the rig did not take the shorter way home, through the Suez Canal in Egypt. The reason lays in the fact that the Suez Canal bridge has the admissible maximum height of 68 metres above the waterline of ships that can pass through the Suez Canal.
As mentioned before, due to the rig’s long legs, its air draft is approximately 210 meters.
Worth noting, this is the second rig of the XLE series delivered by Keppel to Maersk. The first, the Maersk Intrepid, last week received the Acknowledgment of Compliance from Norwegian authorities, clearing the rig for work on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The Maersk Intrepid will work for Total oil company, drilling wells on the Martin Linge field development in the Norwegian North Sea.