Sumitomo Delivers Super-Class Arctic Drilling Rig To ODECO

The Ocean Odyssey, a new super-class Arctic semisubmersible recently completed for Ocean Drilling & Exploration Company (ODECO) of New Orleans, was christened during impressive ceremonies held at the Oppama shipyard of Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. in Japan.

After completing sea trials on Tokyo Bay, the Ocean Odyssey made an unassisted transit across the North Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Alaska, where it will drill for Arco Alaska Inc.

Mrs. Joan Wilkinson, wife of ARCO Alaska's executive vice president G.T. Wilkinson, was the sponsor of the 41,000-ton displacement vessel.

During the ceremonies, Hugh J. Kelly, ODECO president and chief executive officer, said the Ocean Odyssey represents a lifetime of experience drilling in the oceans of the world. He praised the design and engineering of the rig under the leadership of Dr. Terry Petty, and the quality of workmanship in its construction. Mr. Kelly added: "We are not unmindful of the hazardous nature of our business and have, therefore, assigned our best people to man this splendid creation. Our hearts, highest hopes, and our prayers for success of our mission go with the Odyssey." Designed by ODECO's Design & Engineering Department, the Ocean Odyssey is a heavy-duty, fully winterized self-propelled semisubmersible with huge deckload capacities that will enable it to operate in extreme environ- mental conditions for extended periods without regular logistical support.

The Ocean Odyssey is designed to operate in 100-knot winds and can survive winds in excess of 100 knots with a 4,500-ton deckload without deballasting from its 80-foot operating draft. Capable of drilling wells to 25,000 feet in water depths to 1,500 feet, the Ocean Odyssey has an eight-point windlass mooring system with 5,500 feet of 3Vi-inch special strength chain secured to each 45,000 pound anchor.

The rig's structure is designed to withstand simultaneously 100- knot winds, 110-foot waves, and a three-knot current. In addition to ice-strengthened columns, the Odyssey has a protective structure surrounding the marine riser to deflect floating ice, a problem in Arctic drilling. The vessel is 390 feet long and 226 feet wide. Its hull consists of two ship-shape parallel pontoons with a 12,450-hp propulsion system that provides a calm water transit speed of 12 knots. The rig measures 321 feet from the bottom of the pontoons to the top of the derrick.

The Ocean Odyssey is completely winterized to work the year around in temperatures to 30 degrees below zero (— 35 degrees Celsius). Its derrick is fully enclosed up to 115 feet above the heated drill floor to permit allweather operations. An enclosed elevator carries the derrickman from the drill floor to his monkey board.

Modern and comfortable living quarters are provided for 102 persons. In addition to a spacious recreation room for crew members, the rig has a separate reading room, card room, and a fully equipped exercise facility. A U.S.-flag vessel, the Ocean Odyssey has been fully certified by the U.S. Coast Guard and has been classed by the American Bureau of Shipping ABS-AMS -I- A-l for unrestricted worldwide ocean services.

Development of the new class semisubmersible was announced by ODECO in February 1981, when the construction contract was awarded to Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. An impressive k e e l - l a y i n g ceremony was conducted at Sumitomo on January 21, 1982. Several hundred ODECO employees participated in a name-the-new-rig contest in June 1982, and the name Ocean Odyssey was chosen from a list of 3,136 entries.

After construction in a gigantic drydock, the huge rig was launched into the waters of Tokyo Bay on August 31, 1982. Installation and checkout of the complex systems and equipment took place aboard the Ocean Odyssey during the last six months, culminating with the christening ceremony.

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