Ideology shot us in the foot

SourceEnergy Voice
SectorOil & Gas

I spent a few weeks in the mid-70s blowing up glacial boulders on the Norwegian Statfjord field in preparation for the arrival of the Statfjord Alpha platform. Being a concrete Condeep design there was some concern that these boulders could damage it because of the potential for point loading on the base. We used a manned submersible for the work and it was an interesting operational challenge blasting the rocks – some of which were larger than our sub – to smithereens using shaped charges. Our Danish explosives expert did a great job designing the configuration of the charges although I never quite accepted that sleeping with a box of detonators under his bunk was normal behaviour. Mad as a box of frogs. Eventually the client – Mobil – accepted our view this was an entirely pointless and expensive exercise because the more rocks we blew out of the seabed the more we found. It was a real “painting the Forth Bridge type” job. more...