Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/264352
www.uscg.mil/proceedings 34 Proceedings Winter 2013–2014 MODU Design According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a MODU is a vessel that is capable of engaging in drilling opera- tions for subsea resources. Early versions varied from towed barges or platforms to submersible barges resting on the bottom. Many of the wells accessed by these early MODUs may have been located out of sight of land, but were still at depths of less than 30 feet. MODUs have evolved over time and now look very dif- ferent from their early predecessors. Today they range in variety from "jack-up" rigs to self- propelled semi- submersibles, to spar- shaped units capable of drilling in water depths up to 10,000 feet. In recent years, most of the newly con- structed MODUs built in Brownsville, Texas, have been registered in for- eign countries including the Marshall Islands and Panama. The U.S. Coast Guard's Role U.S. Coast Guard involvement during the MODU construction and delivery process varies based on the fag state and upon where the vessel will operate. For foreign-fagged MODUs that intend to operate on the U.S. outer continen- tal shelf, the Coast Guard takes an active role in verify- ing compliance with international conventions and U.S. regulations. While not as comprehensive as an inspection on a U.S.-fagged MODU, this type of examination ensures that the administration of the foreign country, the clas- sification society, and the owner and operator of the MODU have met the requirements necessary for oper- ating in U.S. waters. Upon satisfactory completion of a Coast Guard inspection, a certifcate of compliance is issued, granting them the ability to conduct drilling operations. For those vessels that are constructed in the U.S. but will not operate within U.S. waters, the Coast Guard has almost no involvement during the construction and delivery process. Coast Guard efforts in this regard are focused on ensuring safety of navigation during the out- bound transit. About the authors: LT Dallas Smith is the supervisor of Marine Safety Detachment Brownsville. He has served in the Coast Guard for 13 years, and has worked in the offshore industry since 2005. He is a qualifed marine inspector and casualty investigator with an extensive background in commercial vessel safety and electronic engineering. CWO David Turman has served the U.S. Coast Guard for 18 years and has served the Gulf of Mexico maritime industry for more than six years as a marine inspector and port state control offcer. Bibliography: National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. A Brief History of Offshore Oil Drilling. August 23, 2010. National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The History of Offshore Oil and Gas in the United States (long version), November 1, 2011. Two semi-submersible MODUs, with one in dry-dock, and a jack-up rig at the KeppelAmFELS facility in Brownsville, Texas. Photo courtesy of the Port of Brownsville. View of drill foor/cantilever on a jack-up rig in Brownsville, Texas. Photo courtesy of the Port of Brownsville. Winter �2013_45.indd 34 2/10/14 9:31 AM