Waiting for oil
The new kid on the block stands tall and gallant as it awaits further instruction at the Port of Walvis Bay. The Transocean Marianas, an Earl & Wright Sedco 700 semi-submersible drilling rig is berthed at Quay 08 where it is undergoing a mandatory 3-week maintenance inspection before departing for the Orange basin where it will shortly commence drilling in search of the ever-elusive hydrocarbon deposits. This impressive structure that has the ability to operate in harsh environments and water depths up to 7,000 feet has been chartered by Brazilian firm HRT Participacoes em Petroleo S.A in conjunction with local marine industrial service provider, Elgin Brown & Hammer (EBH) Namibia. Mr Tony Raw, Walvis Bay Chairperson of the Namibia Chambers of Commerce and Industry, welcomed the new arrival stating that if HRT or others are successful in their exploration efforts for oil in the country’s exclusive economic zone, huge economic benefits in line with vision 2030 can be achieved. Further advances at Walvis bay include the commencement of the N$3 billion expansion of the Port which will see the construction of a designated ship and rig repair yard, suitable for accommodating two large semi-submersible oil rigs as well as drill ships. The oil rigs and drill ships will be berthed at the new facility (upon completion of the expansion project) and repair work will be done by private marine contractors from Walvis Bay. (Photograph by Cliff Shikuambi, Public Relations Assistant at Namport).