Zach Koppang | Shale Plays Media
The size of the oil and gas industry is daunting and requires the use of equipment equally daunting in size. When it comes to transporting, say, an offshore oil drilling rig, there may be only one vessel suitable for the job. Meet the Dockwise Vanguard, a semi-submersible vessel capable of transporting the Chrysler Building, or at least something equivalent in size.
A recent report by Wired takes a panoramic view of the ship that was built in 2012. The Vanguard is the world’s largest ‘float-on/float-off’ shipping vessel that doesn’t feature a usual stern or bow. The behemoth is kept afloat by buoyancy casings located on the sides of the ship, some of which are adjustable, allowing for the accommodation of a variety of different cargos.
The ship measures 900 feet in length and the moveable sides allow for the 230 foot wide dock to be unobstructed, allowing its gigantic cargo to extend over the sides of the ship if needed. The ship has been used extensively by oil and gas companies working to install or redeploy offshore drilling rigs.
Water tanks as intimidating in size as the ship itself allow the vessel to submerge itself 50 feet below the water surface. The ship can then maneuver itself underneath an oil rig and haul it to its next destination at a speed of 16.1 mph, or 14 knots. The company states that the Vanguard is capable of transporting fully assembled structures weighing up to 110,000 tons. The platform of the ship can also serve as a dock, allowing for maintenance while remaining out at sea.