Spring 2014

Testing conditions for Strainstall’s rig stability project

Atrocious weather conditions made tough work of a Red Sea pile testing assignment for Strainstall Middle East project engineers Mahmood Ur Rahman Khan and Santosh Pappy Varghese.

Pile dynamic testing involves taking instruments offshore to monitor the impact loads of piles – the steel tubes that are driven into the seabed to secure rigs in position. In this important project for Valentine Maritime, Mahmood and Santosh – overseen by project manager Prasanth Anto – were undertaking a critical test to ensure the stability of a rig platform.

The project was supposed to take a month, but atrocious weather conditions meant that it lasted over five – from May to October last year. The conditions were such that they often had to wait for long hours for the sea to calm down, and – because it was vital to make up time when it did – they had to be ready to resume work at all times of day and night.

“It was certainly a valuable experience for us. Although it was very tiresome, not to mention the fact that we ran out of books and DVDs whilst offshore!”

Commented Mahmood.


Santosh added:

“There was a lot of responsibility on our shoulders to ensure 100 percent correctness and safety during the project, and the weather conditions certainly made life more difficult. However, we relished the challenge and feel we stood up to the task well - although we did get somewhat bored of eating fish for five months!”

Mike Shaw, general manager at Strainstall Middle East, who championed the contract bid alongside technical manager Anil Cherian, added:

“Strainstall’s strong marine connections put us in a very good position to win this work. We offer a quick response with a backup team and spare system to minimise delays – other than those caused by external events such as weather! Alongside this, Valentine Maritime was already familiar with the high quality of our work and in many respects this demonstrates that our reputation for past excellence is our best sales tool for future contracts.”

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