The JOIDES Resolution Visits Victoria BC 1991

John M. MacFarlane 2011

Drillship BP471

The drill ship SEDCO FOREX BP471 (Photo from the Nauticapedia collection.)

In July 1991 the Schlumberger research vessel SEDCO FOREX was the base for the JOIDES Resolution Ocean Drilling Program. She called at Victoria BC and sat at the Outer Wharf.

Name board

Name Board on the SEDCO FOREX BP471 (Photo from the Nauticapedia collection.)

A 14 year program utilizing the SEDCO BP 471 drilling into the earth’s crust 8,000 feet in waters as deep as 15,000 feet was carried out. The major thrust was to gain scientific knowledge of the earth’s crust and ocean floor. Since 1985, operations have been carried out worldwide in water depths ranging from 40 to 6000 m. From time to time, the operations of the program come into conflict with other uses of the seafloor. Drill sites identified on the basis of underway geophysical surveys have been found to coincide with the locations of munitions dump sites, low–level radioactive waste disposal sites and submarine telephone cables. The drill sites are moved in order to avoid disturbing pre–existing artifacts on the seafloor, or operations are modified to minimize the chance that undesirable material might be recovered to the ship.

Drill stand

Drill stand on the SEDCO FOREX BP471 (Photo from the Nauticapedia collection.)

The ship contains state–of–the–art laboratories, equipment, and computers. The ship is 471 feet (144 meters) long, is 70 feet (21 meters) wide, and has a displacement of 18,600 short tons. Her derrick towers 211 feet (64 meters) above the waterline, and a computer–controlled dynamic-positioning system stabilizes the ship over a specific location while drilling in water depths up to 27,000 feet (8230 meters). The drilling system collects cores from beneath the seafloor with a derrick and draw works that can handle 30,000 feet (9144 meters) of drill pipe. More than 12,000 square feet (1115 square meters) of space distributed throughout the ship is devoted to scientific laboratories and equipment. The ship sails with a scientific and technical crew of 50 and a ship’s crew (including the drill crew) of 65.

Crane control house

Crane control house on the SEDCO FOREX BP471 (Photo from the Nauticapedia collection.)


To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2012) The JOIDES Resolution Visits Victoria BC 1991. Nauticapedia.ca 2012. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/SEDCO_FOREX_BP471.php

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