Viking develops longest offshore rig evacuation chute

Viking launches new rig evacuation system at OTC The evacuation system will see its first use on an offshore jack-up drilling rig. (Image source: Maersk Drilling/Flickr)Safety equipment manufacturer VIKING has unveiled the longest ever offshore evacuation chute at OTC 2015

With rig sizes increasing, and evacuation heights exceeding what is possible with enclosed davits and lifeboats, chute-based evacuation solutions have become even more important.

Manufacturer of maritime and fire safety equipment VIKING has developed the new evacuation chute system, recently tested in the North Sea aboard a Maersk Oil rig but destined for a super-sized Noble drilling jack-up rig being constructed in Singapore.

The latter requires the ability to evacuate from an installation height of more than 80 metres.

The chute developed to meet this need is 81 meters long, exceeding the previous record of 64 metres for such equipment.

VIKING’s vice president Benny Carlsen said, “Until we developed the new chute, 64 meters was considered the limit. The task hasn’t simply required us to extend an existing chute, but to revisit much of the design to accommodate new structural challenges.

“We are now re-developing our evacuation systems, combining internal R&D with customer experiences, and examining weight, footprint, structural strength and capacity.”

The company’s fixed-price safety agreements offer offshore asset owners and operators a centralised safety equipment contract and single-source servicing for multi-brand safety equipment aboard support vessels, larger floating assets and rigs.

These agreements were initially developed for the maritime market. VIKING recently won a 36-platform servicing contract with Norwegian oil and gas giant Statoil, as well as a contract for ENI’s Goliat project and from Sweden-based Floatel International.

“We are now cross-training our personnel to perform more services when on board – instead of taking the traditional approach of bringing in a range of companies to do the various service tasks,” said Alexander Gundersen, who manages global offshore sales at VIKING. “This is a focal point for us because we know transportation and accommodation costs are high.”

“The goal is to have more done by the same people in the same service window. We not only can service our own equipment, but also other products and brands – our people are trained and certified to do it all.”

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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