Drill Rig Kulluk and Noble Discoverer

  • Customer: Shell Alaska
  • Industry: Oil and Gas
  • Type: Repair & Refit
  • Year: 2015

Vigor performed extensive environmental and safety upgrades on the Kulluk and Noble Discoverer for Shell Alaska’s offshore exploratory drilling operations. Ensuring quality and safety at all levels was the primary focus of this project.

The ice-classed, semi-submersible drill rig Kulluk and ice-classed drillship Noble Discoverer came to came to Vigor Marine's Seattle shipyard to receive safety and environmental upgrades before they set sail for the Arctic. The rigs are the centerpieces of Shell's 2012 exploratory drilling campaign in the Beaufort and Chuckchi Seas. Both rigs simultaneously left the Seattle yard in June 2012.

The 266' x 230' Kulluk arrived in Seattle in July 2011. Experts at Vigor Marine spent 11 months repairing or upgrading new machinery and equipment including cranes, main engines, and generators. Following the work done, the rig will operate with zero discharge. Everything down to the sink water will be captured and stored.

The same care was taken with the 512' x 86' Noble Discoverer. The Discoverer arrived this April to undergo winterization and similar environmental upgrades. Vigor Marine mobilized a team of more than 500 skilled, quality-focused workers to complete upgrades which would normally take up to 6 months in just 10 weeks. In-house engineers worked closely with naval architects to accommodate additional requirements.

Vigor teams installed six EPODs, one on each engine. The 7’ x 20’ EPODs perform like catalytic converters in automobiles, capturing harmful discharges like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. The Discoverer’s emissions now meet the highest air quality standards in the world.

“Vigor’s work on the Kulluk and Discoverer has been outstanding,” said Curtis Smith, spokesperson for Shell Alaska. “Vigor’s capacity to provide the highest levels of quality work within our timeframe is impressive and continues to make them a valued partner in Shell’s Alaskan offshore operations.”

Images from this Project

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