Hurricane Ivan 2004

Hurricane Ivan passed through the Gulf of Mexico as a category 4 storm, with waves and winds which matched or exceeded the 100-year design criteria of many installations. A weather buoy near the Ensco 64 measured 83 foot waves. The final toll of offshore rigs exacted by Ivan was:

Rig:

Ensco 64

Date:

15 September 2004

Location:

Main Pass Block #280, Gulf of Mexico

Summary

In September 2004, the Ensco 64 was drilling the Main Pass 280 #5 well. As the rig was lying directly in Ivan's path, the Ensco 64 was secured and evacuated prior to the storm, which included laying down drillpipe from the derrick, setting a storm packer and skidding the drilling package back in.

As a result of Hurricane Ivan, the Ensco 64's main hull was sheared off its legs before being set adrift with the remains of two legs hanging below. The third leg was completely lost and the derrick and drillfloor were toppled onto the upper hull. The rig was eventually found 40 miles south of its pre-Ivan location.

The rig was stacked in Brownsville, Texas until April 2005, when it was declared a constructive total loss for insurance purposes. In July 2005, Ensco sold the rig to Blake Drilling & Workover Co., who planned to renovate the rig and rename it "Blake Champion".

Rig:

Medusa Spar

Date:

15 September 2004

Location:

Mississippi Canyon 582

Summary

Built to operate in deep water, the Medusa Spar is located in 678m of water in the Gulf of Mexico and was capable of handling 40,000 barrels of crude per day. Prior to Hurricane Ivan, a Nabors Industries workover rig had been installed on the platform. This rig was toppled during Ivan, sustaining extensive damage and causing some minor topside damage to the Medusa Spar. The workover rig was to be removed and the damage repaired in autumn 2004.

Sources:

Rigzone

Photos
1. C. T. Bauer College of Business Rowan Presentation 2006 PDF document
2. Rigzone
3. Aries Marine
4. MMS