Two Diesel Tanks Intact on Transocean Winner
Another six people are set to join the team of salvors who are currently on board the drilling rig Transocean Winner on Tuesday as part of the ongoing salvage operation.
Smit Salvage has confirmed that the two diesel oil tanks in the hull are intact and plans are under way to transfer the contents – a total of 137 metric tons – using onboard pumping systems to other tanks above the water line.
The Winner went aground on a headland of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland on August 8. The rig was in transit bound for Malta, towed by the anchor handling tug Alp Forward, and the tug lost the tow in severe weather. The Alp Forward was unable to reestablish a connection and high winds blew the Winner aground.
The salvors continue their damage assessment and preparation for the refloat. Transocean continues to check and restore equipment and other essential services.
There’s also work going on in close proximity to the Winner to carry out a multi-beam survey looking to identify the safest route to move it when the time comes.
An AugustaWestland AW139 helicopter is now based in Stornoway to support the operation. A second aircraft has also been mobilized and may arrive on the island later on Tuesday.
An exclusion zone of 300 meters remains in place around the rig covering the sea and air, which means no drones will be permitted in the area.
The Scottish Operational Environment Group continues to support and closely monitor the incident. There are no reports of pollution, however, the U.K. government said Thursday that as much as 53 tons of diesel fuel were spilled from tanks in the pontoons of the grounded rig. Officials said the fuel had probably evaporated or dissipated. Surveillance overflights showed no oily sheen on the water.
The 1983-built Transocean Winner has a 65-foot transit draft and a transit displacement of 20,000 tons. As of Transocean's latest fleet status report, the rig was scheduled to come off contract with Marathon Oil in July.