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Mr. Cunningham

The Transocean (formerly, Reading and Bates) Jim Cunningham semi-submersible has had a stellar career over the years; he worked extensively off West Africa and then in 2002 was moved around into the Red Sea to work for the National Oil Company of Egypt where he made a big gas discovery at about 9,500 feet, in 1000 feet of water.

In August of 2004 he was delineating that discovery and took a gas kick during a short trip. The well caught fire, everyone hauled ass and the rig was abandoned. It then bridged itself off by unloading a wad of shit that blew sand, shale gravel and chunks of cement all the way to the crown and eventually buried the entire rig floor. When the vessel was re-boarded this is what they found:

Here you can see some DP stood back and break out tongs hanging close to the rotary table; notice the size of shale, rock and cement that was being blown out of the well.

Near the shale shackers...

The view from the derrick looking down toward the doghouse...

And from the inside of the dog house looking out, towards the floor

The Jim Cunningham was washed from head to foot, and behind the ears, by a support vessel with HP water monitors and then towed to Malta where he was given a good bath and re-outfitted. He was bought by CNOCC and is now working his way to retirement in the South China Sea.

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