A floating oil rig just delivered to Italian and Norwegian oil companies will soon be operating farther north than any other.
What's orange, white, and big all over—and a potential harbinger of big changes in the Arctic if not the whole planet?
The answer is Goliat, a mammoth, beer-glass-shaped, floating oil platform that’s set to become the northernmost in the world. Last week the 65,000-ton rig arrived for commissioning near the remote Norwegian town of Hammerfest.
It had ridden piggyback all the way from a South Korean shipyard, more than 15,000 miles, aboard the world's largest heavy lift vessel, the Dockwise Vanguard.
This summer Goliat, which belongs to the Italian oil company Eni Norge and to Norway’s own Statoil, will be towed 53 miles (85 kilometers) northwest to its permanent mooring, near where the Norwegian Sea meets the Barents Sea. At latitude 71.3 north, it will be 140 miles closer to the pole than Russia'sPrirazlomnoye platform in the eastern Pechora Sea—the only other offshore rig currently producing oil in Arctic waters.
Everything about Goliat is huge. At 574 feet tall (175 meters), it's about 16 stories taller than the tallest building in Norway. Its mooring lines are the largest ever made, nearly a meter (three feet) across. It will pump and process up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day from its 11 subsea production wells. Its hold will store nearly a million barrels of oil, which will then be shuttled to shore by three brand new tankers.
edryc Wednesday, July 8, 2015, 07:03:57
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