Sedco 135 Series

Author: Mr John Charles Milne

Date Added: 2-Nov-2008


"Sea Quest" was the fourth in the Sedco 135 series of triangular semisubmersibles designed to drill in shallow waters up to 135 foot depth while sitting "on bottom" (submersible mode) or 600 ft depths while held on station by anchors and cable. Although this rig was successful in discovering commercial fields such as Amoco's "Montrose" and BP's "Forties" it was ill-fated and was destroyed in an explosion following a Blow Out in Nigeria.

Other 135 Series rigs that suffered a similar fate included the original "Sedco 135" which melted and sunk off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico after a Blow Out on the Ixtoc - 1 well while on Bareboat Charter to Pemex in 1981.

Sedco 135B sank while under its initial tow from the shipyard in Hiroshima, Japan. Several lives were lost but one survivor was Ernest J (KIP) McKeever who went on to become a Rig manager with Sedco 702 and Sedco I.

Sedco 135G suffered severe damage from a fire off Darwin, Australia in 1969 but was restored to glory and completed a valuable stint for Shell UK in the North Sea before joining Sedco 135C in Nigeria where it suffered a similar fate.

The other 135 rigs fared better and enjoyed long careers in the offshore world. The 135A and 135E units spent most of their lives in Malaysia and Indonesia where they were eventually converted to Production Platforms. 135D spent time in Portugal,Brazil and South Africa. The famous Sedco 135F was the first semisubmersible, I believe, to complete a World Tour by travelling from Vancouver, where it was constructed, to New Zealand, the North Sea, Brazil and eventually India where it joined several other heroes in the Elephant's Graveyard and was recycled into Tatas and taxis.

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