Dubai Offshore - early '70's
Fateh Field, used to work there in early '70's and occasionally wonder what happened to the 'storage system'?
At that time it consisted of 2 'hulks' - Maajma 1 & 2 (ex tankers with rear ends removed) and 1 later 3 Khazzan's underwater storage tanks
(inverted champagne glass shape)
K1 was originally a stand alone unit of approximately 500000bbls capacity that on surface appeared to be a stand alone tank of about 100bbls
K2 & K3 were added later and again of nominal 500000bbl capacity but each supporting process/pumping modules
K!.2 & 3 were interlinked with a Quarters platform
There 1 later 2 SBM's
At some stage the Maajma's were dry-docked/scrapped (may have had temporary replacements?)
AFAIK the Fateh is still in production but unsure of status of the Khazzans - K! was installed about 1969
Would appreciate any info
PZULBA - Out of Africa (Retired)
Nice ya information you have share it. Vary few one's like to do so. keep it up as this is full of fledged information and give motivation to others to post like this.
I'm also curious about these matters. I was there from 1973 to 1986.
As far as I know:
a) the three Khazzans are still in use,
b) the two Maimaa floating storage tanks (as you say, modified tanker hulls) are gone, replaced in 1978 by the captive FSO AL WASEL, another tanker,
c) AL WASEL was, I think, refurbished in 2007 but I'm not sure if it's still there today,
d) I believe the two SBMs are still operating; again, I can't confirm such is the case.
I look forward to learning what, in fact, the situation is today.
Dubai Khazzan Tow-Outs
1.) Anyone remember what companies and which of their tugs towed out the three Khazzan subsea oil storage tanks (“K1”, “K2”, and “K3”) built in Dubai by Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (“CB&I”) for Dubai Petroleum Company (“DPC”)? There were two tow-out programs: K1 was completed and installed first, tow-out would have been in August 1969, and K2 and K3 followed later, probably in February and March 1973.
2.) Each Khazzan is a bottomless, all-steel welded subsea oil storage tank having the shape of an inverted margarita glass, or an onion if that’s more palatable to you. Khazzans are capable of floating on a minimum of 10’ or 11’ of water. Each tank is 270’ (90m) in diameter, 200’ (70m) tall, and weighs about 15,000 short tons excluding pin piles and any topsides structures or equipment. Storage capacity of K1 was about 490,000 bbls. K2 and K3 were each 500,000 bbls. (79,500 m3). All three Khazzans were fabricated by CB&I in Dubai at a then remote fishing camp called Jumeirah, situated several miles north of Shindagha at the mouth of Dubai’s six-mile-long saltwater creek. That fabrication site is now approximately where Madinat Jumeirah resort is located and the pier on which “Pierchic” restaurant sits today more precisely marks the actual point from which the floating tanks were pulled into the Gulf.
3.) The Khazzans are installed in about 160’ of water 60 or so miles offshore in the cluster of platforms, risers, subsea pipelines, floating storage tanks, and CALM-type export buoys comprising DPC’s Fateh Field Central Complex.
I assume K1 was installed by Ingram-ETPM Joint Venture (installation barge ETPM 501?). Is that correct?
I assume K2 and K3 were installed either by J Ray McDermott or Brown & Root Wimpey. Is that correct? Which one? Which barge spreads?
4.) Years ago I saw a photo of K1 in transit but haven’t seen it or any other photos since. It showed K1 under tow of two tugs in a breasted tug arrangement. The boats looked Dutch and I assumed they were L Smit Internationale tugs rather than Bureau Wijsmuller vessels. I thought the larger of the two might be the 9,000 ihp Zwarte Zee or Witte Zee and the smaller a 4,500 ihp or 4,000 ihp tug such as Orinoco, Thames, Hudson or Mississippi, but those are only my uninformed impressions. Does anyone know which tugs performed this tow?
5.) I never saw a photo of the K2 or K3 tow-outs. Given the time elapsing between installation of K1 and of K2 & K3, I suppose by February or March 1973 it's possible a couple of oil patch AHTs or Port Rashid harbor tugs of sufficient bollard pull might have towed K2 and K3 to Fateh Field. Does anyone know about these tows?
I'll try to post a relevant picture or two. Thanks.
Does anyone remember the name of the lead tugboat in the attached 1983 photograph of DB27 inching her way up Dubai Creek? The picture was taken when DB27 made her first transit up the Creek after her conversion from center slot lay barge McDermott Lay Barge No. 27 to combination derrick/lay barge McDermott Derrick Barge No. 27.
Obviously, I don’t remember that tug's name. I want to say she was newly arrived in the Gulf (from where?), had a German captain, and was operated by International Marine Service, Inc. (IMS).
I recall DB27's arrival was quite a drama: dhows and abras frantically trying to dodge the unrelenting derrick barge flotilla.
The tail boat looks to me like JARAMAC XXII but I could be wrong. If someone knows better, please let me know.
Dubai Blowouts in 1973 and 1975
AAA – I found the attachment in a shoe box of old photos. When I received it in the late ‘70s, I was told it was a wild well fire on a Dubai Petroleum Co. (“DPC”) platform. I have a foggy recollection of two, maybe three, DPC blowouts in the 1970s and don’t know which of them the photo depicts. In fact, I know very little about those blowouts and would like to know more. I’m setting out what I can remember and hope folks will correct my errors and fill in some gaps.
BBB – 1973 events. In, I think, July or August 1973 I remember McDermott rigging up, to DPC’s and Red Adair’s satisfaction, cargo barges and a derrick barge for offshore wild well firefighting service. That urgent “force account” work related to a fire or threat of fire on a DPC platform.
I only recently learned DPC had a platform fire in October 1973. I guess I forgot about the fire that occurred on “A” platform 17 October 1973 while SEDCO Rig 70 was drilling well A-1. I don’t know the extent of platform and rig damage, or how long it took to extinguish the fire. Given this “new” (to me) information, I’m now not certain when McDermott was rigging up its barges for wild well fire service, was it in July or August ’73, as I remember, or was it actually later that year, i.e. in response to that forgotten October fire?
CCC – Questions re. 1973. Was there a DPC blowout in July 1973? If affirmative, did it catch fire? If so, about how long after the initial blow out was it before it ignited?
Did the October 1973 fire cause serious damage? How long did it take to control the blowout and extinguish the fire? Was it extinguished using firefighting apparatus and marine equipment already available to DPC at that time?
DDD – 1975 Events. I vaguely remember a blowout in the summer of ‘75. I believe it was more serious than the ’73 blowout(s): it ended up taking a long time (like seven months) and four or five relief holes to bring it under control.
I also remember a jack up drilling rig was lost in February 1976 and I refer to it here because it just occurred to me that it might have some association with the summer '75 blowout.
EEE – Questions re. 1975. Was the platform at which the summer ’75 blowout occurred a total loss? If affirmative, was it destroyed by fire or cratering-in of the seabed?
At the time of its loss, was the jack up rig drilling a relief well to control the summer ’75 blowout?
Sorry about the length. Thanks.
Note: attached photo was taken by a hand whose name I don't know. The photo is from my personal collection.
J-U Rig W.D. KENT Loss – 1976
Background: While working for DPC during a freak severe storm on 23 February 1976, the Reading & Bates’ jack up drilling rig W. D. KENT was struck by a drifting or anchor-dragging vessel. The collision caused the jack up to topple and subsequently sink. Although it, too, was damaged, the vessel that hit the jack up was deemed capable of reaching a port of refuge; however, it sank while under tow to Sharjah. Both the drilling rig and the vessel that struck it were actual total losses. Neither was salvaged.
Discussion. I believe the vessel that struck the drilling rig was a dumb barge notwithstanding that one UAE website currently calls it a “tug”. Most other sources identify the vessel as NEPTUNE 6, a Forex Neptune drill tender, but a U.S. National Academy of Sciences document states the drill tender NEPTUNE 6 was lost in 1973 (were that correct, NEPTUNE 6 could not have collided with W. D. KENT in February 1976). Furthermore, in a first notification of accident telexed to the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Dubai U.S. Consulate identified the drifting vessel as a McDermott lay barge named “WADICO-3”. Since McDermott neither owned nor chartered any such vessel at the time in question I assume the Dubai Consul was actually referring to Fluor’s (ex Western Offshore Drilling and Exploration Co.) drill tender WESTERN OFFSHORE No. III.
Question. What is the correct name of the vessel that collided with W. D. KENT and what type of vessel was it?
Interesting stories Bob, it wood be better if you posted your photos in the gallery.
for member "PZULBA" re. DPC Khazzan Dubai I
In a preceding post I asked for the names of two tugs that towed DPC's "Khazzan Dubai I" the 60 miles from its fabrication site in Jumeirah to its installation location in DPC's Fateh Field back in August 1969. The answer is ZWARTE ZEE and THAMES of L. Smit Co. Internationale Sleepdienst.
Having answered my own question, I didn't want to leave my earlier query 'open' in this forum, and because your post inspired my interest, I thought I'd let you know in case you're still checking in from time to time.
Look, if you're interested, you might enjoy a film featuring Dubai back in 1969. After a general introduction to the emirate and appropriate recognition of Sheikh Rashid, there's footage of Khazzan I under construction, tow, and installation. The link is
It might also be available at "www.huntleyarchives.com" as "film 14534", but I haven't tried this alternative.
An interesting note: on Saturday 13 February 2016 Reuters reported that Dubai Petroleum had had a gas leak at its offshore Fateh oilfield on Thursday 11 February 2016 in an area where a previous fire had occurred in 1975 (my preceding post applies). Quoting a Dubai Petroleum statement, state news agency WAM said (according to Reuters) the leak was dealt with immediately and in a safe manner, and operations have resumed.
I wonder if this is attributable to the well known gas bearing formation at about 4,000 feet in the middle of Fateh Field, the one that caused the 1975 blowout and fire to which I referred in a preceding post? Drilling through that zone has always had to be done very carefully, great care being taken to avoid almost inevitable blowouts by masterfully managing mud weights and getting the hole behind casing before drilling deeper.
Follow up note regarding installation of Khazzan Dubai I: see Huntley file no. 14534 at YouTube.com/watch?v=qdbX-hukpgU. Towards the end of this 22 minute public relations film there's a few scenes showing load out and installation of an early Fateh Field platform. I believe that footage shows Ingram - ETPM Joint Venture fabrication in its Dubai Creek yard and installation by the French crane barge ETPM 501.
Summer '75 Blowout and fire, follow-up
[from 01/12/2016 interview by Jane Goodsill © 2017 Fort Bend County Historical Commission]
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