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U.K.: "SEA GEM" OIL RIG COLLAPSES IN THE NORTH SEA


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THE HUGE OIL RIG "SEA GEM", WITH ABOUT 50 MEN ABOARD, TODAY (MONDAY) COLLAPSED AND STARTED TO SINK IN THE NORTH SEA ABOUT 40 MILES (64 KMS) EAST OF GRIMSBY. AN IMMEDIATE RESCUE OPERATION WAS PUT INTO EFFECT.
THE "SEA GEM" WAS THE ONLY RIG OPERATED IN THE NORTH SEA BY AN ALL-BRITISH COMPANY, BRITISH PETROLEUM. IN OCTOBER, B.P. ANNOUNCED THAT "SEA GEM" HAD STRUCK USABLE GAS TWO MILE (3.2 KMS) BELOW THE SURFACE OF THE NORTH SEA.
TODAY, THE BRITISH SHIP BALTROVER REPORTED THAT THE RIG WAS IN DISTRESS. THE 5,600-TON DRILLING PLATFORM COLLAPSED AT 1409 GMT. THE SHIP SENT A BOAT TO THE RIG AND COASTGUARDS WERE CALLED OUT LATER FROM CROMER.
ANOTHER LIFEBOAT WAS LAUNCHED FROM SHORE AND SEVERAL HELICOPTERS TOOK OFF TO GO TO THE RIG. BP ANNOUNCED JUST UNDER TWO HOURS AFTER FIRST REPORTS CAME OF THE MISHAP THAT 46 MEN HAD BEEN TAKEN ABOARD RESCUE VESSELS. THE COASTGUARD STATION AT BRIDLINGTON, NEAR GRIMSBY, ALERTED ALL SHIPS IN THE AREA TO PROCEED TO THE RIG.
THE "SEA GEM" HAD BEEN EXPECTED TO MOVE TO A NEW SITE DURING THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD, FOLLOWING DISCOVERY OF A WELL WHICH BP SAID WAS PRODUCING 10-MILLION CUBIC FEET (1 MILLION CUBIC METRES) OF GAS A DAY. THE PLATFORM WAS SET IN POSITION LAST SPRING -- A 295-FEET (90 METRE) LONG PLATFORM, JACKED UP ON 10 LEGS, 213 FEET (65 METRES) LONG.
THE BRITISH MINISTER FOR POWER, MR FRED LEE, TOLD PARLIAMENT EARLIER THIS MONTH THAT THE GAS FIELD DISCOVERED BY "SEA GEM" SHOULD JUSTIFY PIPING THE GAS TO THE MAINLAND -- AN OPERATION BP HAD PREVIOUSLY ESTIMATED WOULD NEED AN OUTPUT OF 50-MILLION CUBIC FEET (5 MILLION CUBIC METRES) DAILY TO MAKE IT WORTHWHILE.

Reference 12348/65
Tape
Issue
Can 4750
Source REUTERS LIBRARY
Restrictions Restrictions on certain uses may apply, and may vary from those listed.
Time code
Date original 8TH OCTOBER, 1965
Duration 0.52
Technical 16MM/POS.
Subset Reuters TV - RTV Post 1957
Location AT SEA, OFF U.K.
Sound
Colourbw B/W

1. AERIAL VIEW SEA GEM OIL RIG 0.06
2. GV DECK OF OIL RIG 0.15
3. MV MEN WORKING ON DRILL, PAN UP RIG 0.24
4. MV OILMEN 0.26
5. SV OIL RIG 0.30
6. SV OIL DRILL WORKING 0.37
7. SV PAN DOWN RIG 0.45
8. AERIAL VIEW SEA GEM 0.52

InitialsPC/VISLIB/CR/K

Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

Ref: BGY505300184

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