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Science & Technology:

First Generation Dynamic Position (DP) Vessels

After successful coring offshore California in the 1950’s using spread mooring systems, the National Science Foundation (NSF) needed a stationkeeping system for deeper waters.  In March 1961 the converted 3,400 LT drilling vessel Global Marine CUSS 1 recovered 28 geological cores from 5 holes in 11,700 ft. water depth using manual controlled steerable thrusters.  Although the test was successful it showed that manual thruster control was very difficult.  Concurrently Shell Oil Co. decided to build the 400 LT Eureka with two 200 Hp steerable thrusters with automatic lateral, longitudinal and heading resulting in successfully retrieved cores in up to 3,600 ft water depths in March 1961.  In late 1967 Scripps Institution of Oceanography, sponsored by the NSF and other countries, accepted an offer from Global Marine to construct a 10,000 LT coring vessel (The Glomar Challenger) using digital computers.   The vessel started operation in 1968 and cored throughout the world in up to 23,000 ft of water depth, contributing to the discovery of Global Tectonics.  In 1971, Shell Oil and SEDCO put the newly constructed SEDCO 445 into operation as the first DP drilling vessel which used subsea BOPs and a drilling riser.  This was closely followed by the IHC Holland DP vessel design and the first DP semi SEDCO 709. 

These forerunners have led the industry to today’s DP positioned drilling, production, construction and pipe lay barges that can operate in over 10,000 ft. water depths.

Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the following individuals and organizations that contributed to this technology:

Willard Bascom, Bill Bates, Ron Dozier, John Graham, Dillard Hammett, George Lagers,     Howard Shatto, Tom Stockton, Hank Van Calcar, Duke Zinkgraf, Baylor Company (now National Oilwell Varco), CFP (now TOTAL), General Motors, Global Marine (now Transocean), IHC Holland (now GustoMSC), Honeywell (now Nautronix), National Science Foundation, SEDCO (now Transocean) and Shell Oil Co.


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

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