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Rig Building Shipyards

Offshore rigs are vessels unlike any the world has ever known. To be able to build these behemoths and make them seaworthy requires unusual vision, determination and ingenuity. A few shipyards rose to the challenge. Alexander Shipyard, of New Orleans, built the first self-contained, mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU), the Breton Rig 20 in 1949, following an idea developed by John Hayward.  

Requiring considerable coordination between the shipbuilders and the drilling contractors, various designs were built in yards along the Gulf Coast. However, the work required the shipyards to make considerable modifications to their engineering and construction practices. Only a few were successful. By 1972, six Gulf Coast yards, Alexander and Avondale, of New Orleans, LA; Bethlehem, of Beaumont, TX; Ingalls, in Pascagoula, MS; LeTourneau, of Vicksburg, MS; and Levingston, in Orange, TX, had built a total of 104 MODUs, a remarkable achievement. Bethlehem developed a unique jackup design that includes our own Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum. Letourneau is still producing jackup rigs of its own design today. 

Two Singapore shipyards, Keppel FELS and PPL, started building offshore rigs in the early 70s. Today, they have emerged as modern pioneers, leaders in researching and designing rigs for deeper waters and severe operational environments.

Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the following individuals and companies who contributed to the development of this technology:  

Alexander Shipyard (now Bollinger Gulf Repair), Avondale Shipyard (now Northrup Grumman Ship Systems), Bethlehem Shipyard, Ingalls Shipbuilding (now Northrup Grumman Ship Systems), Keppel Offshore & Marine, LeTourneau Inc. (now LeTourneau Technologies, Inc.), Levingston Shipbuilding Company, PPL Shipyard Pte Ltd


2011 Call for Nominations
2011 Industry Pioneer Nomination Form 
2011 Technology Pioneer Nomination Form

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