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HSL gives giant-size oil rig a new look

Santosh Patnaik
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Sagar Ratna will be handed over to ONGC soon, says its Chairman and Managing Director

Marching ahead:The refurbished oil rig Sagar Ratna at HPCL in Visakhapatnam.
Marching ahead:The refurbished oil rig Sagar Ratna at HPCL in Visakhapatnam.

The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), which will be completing two years since its takeover by the Ministry of Defence on February 22, has achieved a landmark by displaying its skills in various departments of shipbuilding by completely refurbishing and retrofitting oil rig Sagar Ratna at a cost of Rs.500 crore.

Challenging project

This is the highest valued rig repair project and the most challenging-ever undertaken by the premier shipbuilding yard.

One of the world's biggest rigs specialising in Jack type offshore drilling, Sagar Ratna will be sent for floating in a few days.

“We are getting ready to deliver the rig to its owner Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in a month or so. We are very happy with the finesse with which the rig has been overhauled,” HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral N.K. Mishra told The Hindu.

The rig was brought to HSL in August 2009. It has three giant size legs for drilling – each with a length of 400 feet. All the legs have been replaced. It has the ability to undertake drilling at 6,000 metres (20,000 ft.). As part of the project, HSL has changed the main engine, mud pumps, draw walls, and deck cranes.

HSL officials, who sweated it out to give a new look to the rig made in Japan by Hitachi Zosen in 1985, used 1,900 tonnes of steel and around 21,000 metres of pipeline. All the important equipment as well as the accommodation for nearly 100-member crew was either replaced or overhauled.

Sagar Ratna, the first rig to get ISO 9001 certification in 2001, was brought from Mumbai High with a lot of difficulty. It was towed to Kakinada covering a distance of 1,750 nautical miles by engaging long-distance towing vessel Fairmount Sherpa up to Kakinada and later brought to dry dock of the HSL. The project to repair the rig was awarded to the HSL going by its impressive track record in ship and rig repairs.

Pat for HSL workforce

Generally, a rig of Sagar Ratna size and competence has a lifetime of 25 years. But after the retrofitting, ONGC is expecting that it will get a new lease of life for a decade or so.

“We are very happy with the workmanship of HSL workforce and hope that Sagar Ratna will perform well in taking up new drilling assignments like a new rig,” ONGC Deputy General Manager Bishwanath De, who is the project coordinator for Sagar Ratna overhauling, said.


  • It is one of the world's biggest rigs specialising in Jack type offshore drilling

  • It was the first rig to get ISO 9001 certification in 2001



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