The load out of the jackup Thule Power from its position on land was made by lifting the rig by six hydraulic trailer trains, rolling onto a submersible load-out barge. When on the barge, the legs of the rig were jacked down to sea bed. Thereafter the barge was removed with the trailers onboard by ballasting and the effect of a falling tide.
The load-out of Thule Power is a key milestone in the construction schedule as it precedes a planned six week visit (departing QGM on October 18th) to Dubai Drydocks for new spud cans and leg extensions. Upon completion of these two major tasks, the rig will return to QGM for the installation and hook-up of the complete drilling package, preassembled onto the derrick, drill floor and cantilever which will be skidded onboard the rig as one unit. Thereafter the final integrated commissioning and acceptance testing by Saudi Aramco is scheduled to be completed during January 2007 prior to the rig s ultimate departure for the four year fixed plus one year optional contract period offshore Saudi Arabia.
With overall dimensions of 62 meters length and 66 meters width, with a total mass of 4,400 metric tons, this load-out is the first of its size and type (certainly of an offshore drilling rig) to be executed in the region.
The whole operation was a tribute to the expertise of QGM s team of naval architects and engineers forming an essential element of a well concerted team consisting of personnel from Hamriyah Free Zone Port, Noble Denton Associates acting for Thule Drilling, the Salvage Association acting as warranty surveyors for the insurance underwriters and Abu Dhabi based Al Jaber Establishment as load-out contractors that provided specialist personnel and the necessary hydraulic trailer trains for the operation.
Thule Drilling s jackup newbuildings at QGM, the Thule Energy and Thule Force , will be loaded out in an identical manner to that adopted this week.
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