Thursday, April 22

Oil Rig

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The Oil Rig is a relatively new dive site located just north to the north of Bluff Point. A past sonar sidescan survey (SSS) of the Gulf of Suez showed an area with strange wreckage on the bottom and a circular depression approximately 2-meters deep. Subsequently exploration by divers located winches, ventilation cowls, ladders, mooring cleats, and other items covering a large area. However, no wreck was ever located.

One possible explanation for all of the wreckage was given as follows:

“The American jack up drilling barge Gemini was damaged while drilling of Ras Shukier. The sea bed collapsed under one of the legs on October 8th 1974, 18 people died. During salvage operations it rolled over almost capsizing, bending all its legs. It was written off at a cost of 4.1 million pounds, removed and broken up.”

The Gemini was a jack-up rig owned by the Amoco Corporation that suffered a “punch through” on 28 September 1974, which is when one of the legs of the rig “punches through” the seabed. This was Amoco well number GS-310-1, which was drilling a well over 3,000 meters deep. The punch through, naturally, compromised the stability of the entire drilling rig and operation. The salvage operation to stabilize the jack-up rig failed and the entire rig nearly overturned as a result at position 28.14.42N/33.13.29E. The 2-meter circular area described above may be what is left of the “spud can”, or the imprint of where the rig’s leg rested on the seabed.

 

Diving Information

As has been already mentioned above, there are winches, ladders, ventilation cowls, and mooring bits located over a wide area. As well as the 2-meter deep depression in the seabed. This is a shallow dive 8-15 meters with lots of sea life in the area.

 

References:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr289.pdf

http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/losses.htm

http://www.redseadivers.com/gulfwrecks.htm

http://www.touregypt.net/VDC/miscegyptwrecks.htm

 

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