This Day in History (1988): Hundred Men Overhaul Offshore Plant
A hundred men working for a month complete a major overhaul of the Abu Sa’fah GOSP.
A hundred men working day and night for a month during the hottest time of the year have completed a major overhaul of the Abu Sa’fah GOSP, which stands in the calm waters of the Gulf about 50 km northeast of Ras Tanura. The job, completed this month, involved taking apart all the major equipment on the gas-oil separator plant, repairing, cleaning and painting it where needed, and putting it all back together again.
Like most types of oil installation, an offshore GOSP normally runs around the clock for years without interruption. Under ideal conditions, it should only stop when it is taken out of service for cleaning and preventive maintenance. The intensive job known as T&I (test and inspection), carried out on a plant about every five years, ensures that it operates smoothly and efficiently for as long as possible.
About a third of the men who worked on the Abu Sa’fah T&I commuted every day by helicopter from the Aramco air terminal at Ras Tanura, a flight of about half an hour. Chopper flights landed on the helipad of Aramco Repair Barge II, sited immediately beside the GOSP. The other workers lived on the ARB II or a supply vessel moored alongside the GOSP’s permanent living quarters.
In the end, the T&I was completed a few days ahead of schedule, and the workhorse of the Abu Sa’fah field is now back in service.
Caption of the top photo: The ARB-II repair barge stands in the shallow water of the Abu Sa'fah field attached to the GOSP. The GOSP's flare stack, visible on the right, and living quarters for crew, out of the picture on the left, are separated from the main body of the GOSP by long walkways. At left, a worker scrapes the GOSP's superstructure. Below, a crane is guided onto the deck of the ARB II.
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1792 — French Revolution: The National Convention passes a proclamation announcing the formal abolition of the French monarchy