Yes, You Did See A Rig

COS Rig Sighted OffshoreThe Port of Motril has confirmed that the oil platform just in sight off our coast is one that is on its way to Almería from Algeciras.

It’s probably being towed but the vessels that are doing it are too low on the horizon to be seen (hull down).

It appears to be from the photo a semi-submersible, which is a fully-floating rig, They can be set up in up to 2,500 metres of water depth but normally anchored over the chosen location at about 1,500 metres. If the water is deeper, then they use directional thruster working on GPS and Sonar Beacons to maintain station.

These Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) are called Semi-Subs because they have a large ballast structure beneath them that can be filled or emptied to elevate or lower the structure. When they are being moved, as in the case of the above photo, the ballast is pumped out to get the rig as far as possible out of the water to reduce hull drag.

Once they reach their destination, the ballast tanks are filled, which gives greater stability to the structure and makes them less prone to wave action – the lower the centre of mass is below the centre of buoyancy; the greater the stability of the platform.

(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

  9 comments for “Yes, You Did See A Rig

  1. Malcolm
    April 2, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Whatever its wise, how much fuel has this tug used (wasted?). The destination is supposed to be Almeria, which it actually reached about 4 days ago, but has continued to travel back and forth since. Is it because Almeria port is closed due to Covid 19 I wonder?

  2. March 29, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    I’ve spoken to somebody who works in the port in the refined-petroleum installations and they don’t know anything about what it is doing – sorry!

  3. March 29, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    Dear Martin, I’m sure I’m not the only one curious about the oil rig that is beeing towed forth and back almost daily offshore Almunecar. Seems they are scanning the sea bottom and getting closer to the shore. Any idea?

  4. John Harwood
    March 29, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Now it’s 5:15pm on Sunday, 29th: it’s there again, this time heading EAST

  5. John Harwood
    March 29, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    4pm on Sunday, 29th: there it goes again, this time heading west

  6. Russ
    March 29, 2020 at 11:39 am

    The rig is still stationary off Motril port.

  7. John Harwood
    March 27, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    From La Herradura, on the 24th I saw a rig being towed to the west. Today I see a rig being towed to the east. The same one? It certainly looks the same but, then, don’t they all!
    It is not far offshore, less than 10km (given that, at our altitude, the horizon is about 30km distant).
    What is going on?

  8. Malcolm Mabbs
    March 27, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    I have been tracking this rig on an app and it has travelled back and forth between Motril and Nerja for the past week. Is it looking for a place to park?…or waiting for the winds to subside before travelling further east to Almeria? I recall reading somewhere about two years ago that oil companies were contemplating exploration offshore Costa Tropical…could this be the start??

  9. Wendy
    March 24, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Sitting here in Cotobro we can see the tug and it is definitely heading for Malaga. In fact it went past last night, appeared again this morning and is now heading west again 😋

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