Transocean Marianas Forced Off Location During Hurricane Rita
Transocean Inc. reported that its moored semisubmersible rig Transocean Marianas was forced off its drilling location during Hurricane Rita and is grounded in shallow water at Eugene Island block 133 approximately 140 miles northwest of its pre-storm location. An initial assessment of the rig indicates significant damage to the unit's mooring system, but a more complete rig inspection is ongoing. The well was secured and all personnel were safely evacuated before the arrival of the storm.
Also, the company reported that the moored semisubmersible rig Deepwater Nautilus, which sustained damage to its mooring system during Hurricane Katrina and was undergoing repairs, was set adrift following the failure of a tow line utilized by a vessel engaged in towing the rig to a location away from the projected path of the storm. A partial crew on board the Deepwater Nautilus utilized the rig's thruster-assist capabilities to navigate the unit to a location approximately 40 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, where the rig remains grounded. All crew members were safely evacuated.
The company will provide more information on the condition of both units, including an estimate of rig downtime, once damage assessment efforts have concluded.
The company's two other active moored semisubmersible rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, the Falcon 100 and Transocean Amirante, were safely evacuated and remain on location in the aftermath of the storm. Initial assessments of these two rigs have not revealed any damage. The company's six dynamically positioned rigs successfully moved out of the projected path of the storm prior to its arrival and are in the process of recommencing operations.