I was just watching the History Channel series “The Men That Built America”. One of the interesting bits was about how John D. Rockefeller got his start in refining oil in the great state of Ohio. Apparently at one time, Ohio was the number one source of oil in the United States. It was also the site of the first submerged oil wells or oil rigs. These were located in Grand Lake St. Marys.
There are a variety of different types of offshore platforms or oil rigs including some that are fixed to the ocean floor, some that are artificial islands and some that float. Offshore oil platforms represent some of the largest moveable man made objects.
The Petronius Platform located in the Gulf of Mexico stands 2,000 feet above the ocean floor and is currently one of the world’s tallest structures.
One of the largest and probably the heaviest offshore platform is the Hibernia platform in Canada. This gravity base platform is located in the North Atlantic Ocean about 196 miles east, southeast of St. Johns in Newfoundland, Canada at N46°45.026′ W48°46.976′.
Here’s the stats:
Start of development: 1986
Start of oil production: 1997
Depth: The Hibernia rests on the ocean floor at a depth of about 260 ft.
Height: The topsides extend about 160 ft. out of the water
Capacity: The gravity base can hold 1.2 million barrels.
Weight Integrated Topsides Facility: 37,000 tons
Weight Gravity Base: 660,000 tons
Ballast: After the Hibernia was towed into place, 450,000 tons of solid ballast were used to secure the platform.
Total Weight: 1.2 million tons
Conclusion: Any given oil platform weighs more than a little bit more than me.
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