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BAM Ritchies

Case Study: Vysotsk Underwater Drilling & Blasting

Client: LUK Oil

Engineer: Fluor Daniel BV Haarlem NL

Location: Vysotsk, Russia

Date: 2004

Between August and December 2004 BAM Ritchies undertook drilling and blasting of a navigation channel for a new LUK Oil terminal at Vysotsk in Russia.

The original quantity was in the region of 100,000 cubic metres, but this was reduced to around 50,000 cubic metres with the remainder being dredged using backhoes.

Work was carried out from the pontoon ‘Fetsy L’ with three new 36m high drill towers mounted on the deck supplied by Boart Longyear. The drilling system adopted had previously been used for similar work in India - rotary percussive to drive the casing and DTH for the 146-mm diameter holes.

The bulk of the work was carried out 32km from the terminal in the Gulf of Finland and the workforce of around 42 lived on board the ‘Fetsy L’, working in 12 hour shifts.

The contract was badly affected by weather delays, with an average of 3-4 days down time per week. Temperatures dropped to -23 degrees Celsius with the wind speed up to Force 8-9. Bad weather frequently meant lifting the anchors and taking shelter behind a small island 2-3 hours closer to the shoreline.