If someone told you that a brand-new drilling rig, priced at 500 million dollars, could not be transported on a heavy transport vessel due to its gigantic size, wouldn’t you be curious about how it was practically delivered?
The solution: It had to be towed – by one single tug. Yes, you read it right. All that was made possible by organizing one of the most impressive Mega Transports ever documented – halfway around the globe in just 90 days.
The journey of the West Bollsta drilling rig starts in Ulsan, South Korea – where it was built over six years to get to its operation site in Europe. One might ask: How can something so vast and bulky be delivered? It’s 123 meters long, 76 meters wide, and has an incredible maximum drilling depth of 12 kilometers.
Surprisingly, a rather small boat was selected for the job: the ALP Striker, one of the strongest ocean tugs in the world. They used arm-thick steel cables to pull the drilling rig across the oceans. These cables were so heavy that only the ship’s crane could lift them. The process of connecting the tug and the rig alone took a whole day.
Once the drilling rig was successfully attached to the tug, the most challenging part of the journey lay ahead. They embarked on a journey around the Cape of Good Hope, heading to their destination: the Canary islands. The expedition was full of unpredictable challenges along the way, from navigation, pirates, wind, and waves.
The Mega Transport of the West Bollsta drilling rig is a feat of engineering worth witnessing. You can watch this amazing journey documented in a mind-blowing documentary. Wouldn’t you like to see for yourself how this mission was pulled off against all the odds?