From population, to gold consumption to solar production, China is a worldwide leader in a variety of categories. So it may come as no surprise to offshore oil and gas professionals that China is now the new home to the world's biggest offshore drilling rig.
"The Bluewhale can drill 50,000 feet below the sea floor."
Earlier this month, the Bluewhale 1 was delivered to a major offshore shipyard in China, The Maritime Executive reported. Appropriately titled, given its hulking size, the Bluewhale 1 is an ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig that can plunge the depths of the earth, capable of reaching 12,000 feet below the sea surface floor, which is the equivalent of roughly two miles. But in terms of drilling, the rig can go much deeper than that, plummeting approximately 50,000 feet. In terms of height, the rig measures around 487 feet. At 37 floors, that's almost as tall as the textbook definition of a skyscraper (at least 40 floors). The Bluewhale also weighs an impressive 42,000 tons – approximately 41,800 more than the average of its mammalian namesake.
China's offshore and marine equipment industry is ever-burgeoning, made up of numerous companies who have ventured to East Asia, but also comprised of several firms that were born and raised in the mainland. These include Shanghai Zhenhus Heavy Industries, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Offshore, among others, The Maritime Executive reported. This sector was also pinpointed as an industry primed for growth in the government's Made in China 2025 initiative, a strategy designed to help China become more competitive with other countries in terms of economic production and increased globalization.
South Korea former home to largest semi submersible drilling rig
Though China may now be home to the world's largest semi-submersible drilling rig, it was only last year that a fellow Asian country held that title. In South Korea's Ulsan province, Hyundai Heavy Industries delivered Ocean Greatwhite, Offshore Magazine reported last summer. With an operating depth of 9,842 feet, the rig can drill at depths 35,000 feet below the ocean floor. While the Bluewhale has the Ocean Greatwhite beat in operating and drilling capabilities, it's slightly smaller in size – around 17 feet shorter lengthwise.
As enormous as these rigs are for jumbo-size projects, the insurance products and services at Fisk Marine Insurance International are similarly larger-than-life. No matter the mariner task – be it in commercial diving, oilfield or commercial watercraft industries – Fisk Marine Insurance International has you covered and then some.