Our first successful infra-red survey foray offshore the subtropical country of Vietnam took place earlier this month; following a twelve hour flight and a further two hour drive from Ho Chi Mihn City (formerly Saigon) to the small scenic coastal peninsular city of Vung Tau. A vibrant and colourful city strategically located adjacent to the mouth of the Mekong River and serving as the main departure hub for the busy Vietnamese offshore oil and gas industry.
Armed with nothing but our robust FLIR T400 infrared imager and full PPE to perform another first – the annual PM thermographic hot-spot survey on rig-wide electrical equipment on the impressively large and technically advanced Seadrill rig the West Leda. This modern Pacific 375 premium jack-up rig is gifted with higher storage capacities in terms of space, weights and volumes for bulks, liquids and general cargo compared to older jack-up rigs. What’s more, the rig is capable of drilling to depths of 30,000ft and manned by an industrious good natured multi-national crew eager to help our green hat new arrivals, with mobilisation perfectly coordinated during high load drilling conditions over a small satellite platform in the Rang Dong Field for the Japan Vietnam Petroleum Corporation, (JVPC).
Upon leaving the rig it came to no surprise the West Leda rig (and her crew) had won Seadrill’s rig of the year; and another reason why no temperature related anomalies were found wanting during our thorough and determined search, with the only hot issue found wanting was to fly at tree top level in the hot humid weather and the thud-thud sound of a Huey helicopter, but we knew this would never happen and just a figment of a vivid imagination, but in essence it did. Vietnam and the West Leda two worlds apart yet compatible for all the right reasons, and both destinations we are eager to return too.