Oops!

Speculation abounds that Chevron’s Typhoon mini-TLP is floating upside down in the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Rita. The company is refusing to comment following the release of a picture which clearly shows a Tension Leg Platform (TLP) adopting a rather worrying stance:

After

This is how it is supposed to look:

Before

The ironically-named Typhoon Project carried investments of about $256 million. Ouch.

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4 Responses to Oops!

  1. Rob Hinkley says:

    It does look just a tad top-heavy when its the right way up. I suppose the idea is to have big cables stretched down to the sea bed (we could call them “tension legs” or something) which stop it toppling over. Nobody aboard when it went over, I hope?

  2. Tim Newman says:

    Actually, the centre of gravity on those things is very low, far beneath the waterline. The cables only serve to keep it in position, not upright.

    AFAIK, all platforms were evacuated before the hurricane struck.

  3. Rob Hinkley says:

    > Actually, the centre of gravity on those
    > things is very low, far beneath the waterline

    Which is as it should be. It just didn’t look like there’s much below the waterline. Perhaps the base is packed with uranium ballast.

    Not just upside down, but going walkabout:
    http://rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=25553
    “A fixed wing aerial survey on Sunday located the Max Smith in the West Cameron Area and Chevron’s Typhoon floating upside-down in Eugene Island Block 273 some 80 miles from their original locations. …”

  4. Tim Newman says:

    Perhaps the base is packed with uranium ballast.

    The base is partially flooded. Flooding and evacuating sections of oil platforms is an enormous part of getting them into position and getting them to stay there. Very complicated, and the costs of messing it up are rather high.

    Maybe the Typhoon will end up being filched by some gypsy for scrap?

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