Oil Rig Crane Engine Replacement: Extraordinary Use of a Helicopter
Oil rig crane engine replacement project is an example of the extraordinary as an everyday thing at BOHEN. How we used a helicopter to a crane engine.
R&B Falcon (now part of Transocean) called us, as the main contract mechanics for a jack-up oil rig crane in the Gulf of Mexico, when they had a problem with their Linkbelt 108B. We moved fast and caught a ride out on the next helicopter.
Oil Rig Crane Emergency
We saw upon inspection that the Detroit™ engine was blown beyond repair. While we discussed replacing it, the rig’s other crane experienced a live mast failure. There we were: Stuck with a supply boat to off-load and a crane engine to hoist, but no working crane. With both oil rig cranes out of commission, operations on the platform could come to a halt, if at least one of the cranes was not back up operational within 24 hours.
BOHEN Problem Solving Ingenuity
That is when our BOHEN ingenuity kicked in. We spoke with the Rig boss and with the Superintendent about possibly flying a new engine out by chopper and sitting it down on the heliport. We could then dismantle the new engine and move it to the top of the pedestal where the crane was mounted piece by piece and put it back together in the crane.. After making several phone calls, we found a helicopter company that could fly the engine out to the rig. After speaking with the pilot by phone I asked him if he would possibly be able to sit the engine down in place in the crane so I wouldn`t have to take it apart and move it to the crane piece by piece. He flew out to the rig and looked the situation over and advised that he felt it would not be a problem to do.
On the Spot Improvising Saves Time and Money
The helicopter returned about an hour and forty-five minutes later with the new crane engine spinning beneath it. The pilot lowered it carefully onto the heliport to stop the gyrations. Once the engine was no longer spinning the pilot picked back up and moved the engine over and set it down in the crane on the engine mounts.
Oil Rig Crane Engine Replaced in Hours
After the helicopter placed the engine, we hooked it up and got the oil rig crane operational in few hours. We then repaired the mast on the other crane so that in short order, both were operating. If we hadn’t been so innovative, R&B Falcon would have had to wait for a shipboard crane. They would have lost several days idling the oil rig at a cost of the rigs day rate. Our ingenuity saved the company several days of down time and many thousands of dollars.