|Crane barge off Angola|
Still offshore Angola, but on another boat, and another oilfield, some 200 kms further North West and now in 2000 metres of water.
This field is not yet in production. A huge crane barge (see photo 1) supported by a number of smaller boats, like the one I am on, is
installing the various bits and pieces on the seabed, as well as the riser pipes that will bring the oil up to the surface.
Later this year or next year, a Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel will arrive and be connected to the risers and production can
A mind boggling and fascinating operation.
I have managed to further our plans in regard to boating later this year. I have found a compaNY in Holland that hires out Pedro motor
We are quite keen on this make of Dutch Steel Cruiser. So we are planning on hiring one for two weeks in Holland later this year, to get the feel of the Pedro 34.
Also, the Pedro boatyard is not too far away, so we will look in there to see if there are any
bargains to be had. You never know.
And we still get to mess about in boats – the weather is generally very calm around here, and the crews take the opportunity to give
their Rescue Boat a run. (See photo 2)
|Hanging around – Crew change|
Meanwhile the construction goes on. In the two weeks I have been here, they have assempled and lowered 3 of the 2000 metre riser pipes into the water, and connected them to the seabed valves and fittings.
The top ends are left suspended in the water, some 150 metres down, supported by huge flotation tanks, awaiting arrival of the FPSO. (One of these tanks can be seen in the first photo, waiting to be offloaded) They do not use very imaginative names for vessels these days.
The four oil fields in this area which will supply this FPSO are called Pluto, Saturn, Venus and Mars and so the FPSO is named PSVM!
Crew changing here is interesting – we are lifted up by the huge crane on the barge, using a personel basket and swung over the ocean onto the boat that takes us in to Point Noire in the Congo. (Picture 3) Not fun if you are scared of heights.