ABSTRACT

This paper describes a new offshore firefighting concept, the RED 1. The RED 1 is a twin-hulled, self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel which will act as a stable platform in deep/rough waters while fighting offshore blowouts and fires. RED 1 will have a complete fire-fighting complement of equipment aboard at all times.

In particular, this paper deals with the design and operations criteria of the unit. Firefighting cost savings are presented. In addition to fire control, RED 1 can also be used for other construction and support activities. At this time, RED 1 is in the preliminary design stage, waiting further financial support from participating oil companies prior to construction.

INTRODUCTION

As our international energy demand increases, so does the need to explore and produce petroleum from offshore areas in deep and rough waters. The ever-increasing petroleum product demand coupled with a strong environmental protection movement has been of mutual concern to many petroleum oriented companies. Like our compatriots, we anticipated the requirements of the energy crunch, but unlike some, we do not feel that we should lose ground on the advancements we have already made in the environmental protection area. In particular, we are concerned that adequate measures are being taken to protect world interests in natural resources, human resources and equipment. A great deal of work has been done and is continuing to be done to prevent possible blowouts, fire and pollution; but, the advancement of concepts to adequately handle offshore disasters in the rougher and deeper waters of the world has lagged far behind the technology to drill and produce in these areas. RED 1 is a twin-hulled self-propelled semi-submersible which can be stationed along side an offshore drilling/production platform to provide a work base from which to fight, contain and extinguish a fire (Fig. 1). RED 1 was designed to operate in the rough waters of the world such as the North Sea and to have the capabilities to be deployed to the scene of the fire quickly, operate in seas up to 30 foot mean height and embody the specialized equipment necessary to control a marine disaster. SEDCO's contribution to the joint venture in deep/rough water drilling experience and vessel design, combined with the vast fire-fighting experience of Red Adair's company, REDCO, represents an additional form of insurance in the RED 1 for the offshore industry.

RED 1 DESIGN CRITERIA AND SPECIFICATIONS

Offshore drilling and production is increasing, due to potential reserves and advanced technology and experience, in deeper waters around the world. In 1972, 506 offshore exploration and 2,840 offshore production wells were drilled, representing a 69 percent increase in offshore activity over 1971. Along with this increased exploration and production activity, the construction of fixed production facilities has also increased towards the deeper waters. In the Gulf of Mexico during the last five years, there has been a 105 per cent increase in platforms constructed in over 150 feet of water (Fig. 2). In the North Sea, the intent of many major producers is to install platforms in over 200 to 400 feet of water. (1,2)

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