Diving Lore

Offshore Activity

Offshore Platform - Sedco 706 Installation

Platform Size - Small-Medium.

Platform Location - Currently berthed in Invergorden for refit, where it will then depard for Singapore and then Brazil. But location varies due to the roaming nature of Semi-submersibles.

Condition - Weathered but maintained. Average overall condition.

Hydrocarbon Output - Not known.

Maximum Persons On Board (POB) - 75.

Offshore Welfare facilities (Internal) -

The Good

The galley is quite large and the food is quite tasty, but there are no hot desserts.
A twice-weekly lottery competition is held in the galley and prizes can be quite lucrative.
The Sedco 706 Platform has a book and DVD library (although both are quite small).
A large LCD TV is located in the non-smoking lounge with a single internet terminal. The smokers lounge has a big screen TV. There are two telephones in enclosed booths that allow both national and international calls to be made!
Soft drinks are free on this platform!
The stewardess' and other female crew on board this semi-submersible are widely considered good looking and attractive by North Sea standards, although they appear a little aloof at times overall morale seems to benefit by their presence.
The food and service provided by the chefs is excellent and first rate. There are good meat selections and a varied menu to cater to meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Ice cream is also plentiful!
Transocean operates a radically innovative and clever personality assessment program that examines each of its workers psyche / personality. Once a worker has been assessed they are issued a colour-coded label with two different colours to wear on their helmets and overalls. Depending on the colour worn it can mean whether a worker is hot-tempered, cool headed, a rational thinker, a 'look-before you leap' / act-on-instinct and technical analytical types. On the platform work floor this is an excellent way of indicating how workers (bearing the personality colours) should be spoken to and given work tasks. Although it has its critics, the assessments are usually sound and work related arguments and disputes are reduced.
The laundry service is excellent. All non-work clothing is promptly laundered, folded and returned to rooms in rapid-time. Even work clothes are given 'cut-above-the-average' treatment with gloves and heavily-soiled overalls all being washed separately from 'work dirty' overalls.
The upper accommodation level is superior in having en-suite facilities (shared with adjoining bunks) that vary in size. About half of the rooms have internet sockets for laptops (cables are not provided however) The internet connection is at a reasonable speed.
A small TV is also installed in each room of the accommodation, some rooms have DVD players and some have powerful (but small) aircon units.
The Bond sells duty free goods.

The Bad

A cramped feel to most of the internal areas of the platform. The internet connection is located in the TV room which means the TV noise is somewhat distracting. The accommodation is either 2 or 3 person bunks. The lower level accommodation is quite rough and ready as the toilets, showers and sinks are not only communal but shared with the workers transiting from the changing rooms as well. The room temperature in the 200 level bunks is unreasonably hot, mostly due to the pathetic air flow on the air con system there and they are cramped. The ladder to the top bunk isn't built into the bunk frame hence it can be a delicate balancing act climbing up and down it.
There is a small but decent enough gym although rolling-weights can be a pain in the ankles!

Offshore Welfare facilities (External) - There are no smoking areas which are located externally from the accommodation. Every phone point is locked to internal platform calls only, although a secret code is known to exist, the core crew guard this jealously.

Platform Emergency Drills - Evident and carried out weekly (usually on a Saturday). The actual lifeboat drill that is practised is very demanding, labourious and criticised by all but the senior management. Upon the practise alarm sounding externally working personnel have to enter the accommodation modules to collect grab bags before then assembling at internal muster points. To do this work gear (PPE) has to be removed, stored, before entry to inside the accommodation is permitted. After mustering they then have to move outside again to muster at designated lifeboats. So once again work gear (PPE) has to be donned before moving to the lifeboats. The whole procedure can take up to an hour to get everyone processed and accounted for. Workers argue, rightly so, that they should assemble at external lifeboat muster stations firstly and foremost. It is also grumbled that the senior management operate the 'ivory tower' mentality in which emergency drills are controlled centrally thus meaning that lower ranks must play to this crazy changing-of-the clothes routine!
In the event of a real emergency this procedure is likely to create confusion and panic if a catastrophic occurs.

Overview - Located in the Northern Frontier region of the North Sea this semi-submersible platform is one of a number bearing the Sedco title. On this one the first thing that greets you is the 'Sedco 706' sign in yellow lettering with 'MONROVIA' below it.
The oil company Transocean is the owner of this platform, it has been overhauled at least once but its smallish size means space will always be at a premium. The corridors are narrow and asbestos is still evident in many of the accommodation modules walls (although these have been marked accordingly). A primary feature of the semi is that it has a massive 100 yard hydraulic bridge that allows access to static platforms. A sophisticated monitored entry via the vantage card is used for access to and from the Sedco 706. In bad weather and if maximum POB is reached access to an adjoining platform is denied. This can lead to personnel being 'marooned' on other platforms whilst they wait for the bridge to re-open! The current 'record' is four days!
Make no mistake that although every offshore installation has its idiosyncrasies this one is amoungst the quirkiest! It is no suprise that The Sedco 706 platform has some interesting characters that colour the platform. The chirpy and quirky medic whose slightly zany but excellent style makes even the dullest of oil workers take note of his wisdom and council. The OIM is another character, his stern-faced, tough-love policy make him a man apart with his rules and policies being taken very seriously and enforced. The flambouyant 'trailing-hand' method of descending stairways is used here as it is believed to prevent dislocated shoulders in the event of a fall. The Sedco 706 is capable of independant drilling but it usually works in support of static platforms like the Dunbar.
The primary operating and contracting company that provides personnel for the oil platform is Woodgroup, Petrofac and Rig Blast.
The winds of change have blown and in July 2007 the Sedco 706 is embarking for Singapore. A comprehensive refit will take place and following this the Sedco is bound for sunny Brazil to conduct exploratory drilling.
This review is valid as at 1 August 2007.

OPR Rating - 5.5 / 10. To submit your additional review of the platform click here.

History | Big Picture | Oil Production Zones
The Future of Oil

Oil Platform Sedco 706Oil Platform Sedco 706 Moored to Dunbar

Copyright Diving Lore Site Map Link Terms Of Use