Tacoma Boat Launches $3.4-Million Oil Test Barge For Sohio Use
A new $3.4-million, 214-foot petroleum products barge for operating in Arctic waters was l a u n c h e d r e c e n t l y by Tacoma Boatbuilding Co., Tacoma, Wash., for The Standard Oil Company of Ohio (Sohio). Gini Savage, wife of Sohio Alaska Petroleum Company president, Michael Savage, was sponsor at the launching, and christened the vessel "Investigator." The new Ice Class II vessel will be used to support Sohio Alaska Petroleum Company's exploratory drilling program in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's northern coast. It will be the first ice-class barge ever to be used in the area.
It is designed with a double hull for maximum environmental protection. The Investigator can store and transport potable water. The deck is designed for transport of Sohio's offshore drilling rigs. In the Beaufort Sea, Sohio and other oil companies drill exploratory wells from man-made gravel islands or from natural barrier islands. This barge will be anchored adjacent to these low elevation islands.
The Investigator will be instrumented to log and record ice movements and pressures. These data will assist in providing future designs for ice class vessels. This barge has an overall length of 214 feet 6 inches, maximum beam of 65 feet, and a draft of 11 feet 11 inches. Its cargo capacity is 4,000 metric tons. When fully outfitted, it will have two 125-kilowatt diesel generators and two 50-horsepower fuel pumps to supply drilling crews with fuel and electric power.
In addition to providing fuel and water supplies, equipment storage, and transport, the Investigator will offer limited camp facilities and shelter from severe Arctic weather.
"Having the o p p o r t u n i t y to build the Investigator and to conduct detail design work for this test barge was very important to us," commented Frank B. Lynott, chairman of Tacoma Boat. "We strive to be in the forefront of marine vessel technology, and we appreciate the opportunity that Sohio is giving us to construct and deliver this important component of their exploration program for Alaskan waters." Detail design and engineering was conducted by Tacoma Boat engineers in conjunction with designer Peter S. Hatfield, Vancouver, British Columbia, consulting naval architect, and Swan Wooster Engineering, Inc., Portland, Ore., consulting engineers for Sohio Alaska Petroleum Company. Tacoma Boatbuilding designs and constructs medium-size naval and patrol vessels, offshore rigs and specialized vessels for the petroleum industry, and large commercial fishing boats. The company operates three shipyards in Tacoma and has 2,400 employees.