Marine structures that have pile foundations of other pile structures like sheet piles in cofferdams present unique challenges for driving piles or drilling on marine projects. One of the most commonly utilized solutions for driving pile or drilling is mounting a rig to a barge that can support the significant loads and operation capacities presented by piling and drilling rigs.
Different barges can be configured in a number of ways to effectively allow operators to safely drill into the earth below the surface of the water. Unlike piling and drilling projects on the land, positioning and repositioning barges and rigs is more complicated and requires thoughtful solutions to keep projects on track.
The most common marine drilling and piling projects include large civil projects like the construction of bridges, piers, jetties, docks, harbors, and cofferdams. Most private-sector marine projects include drilling for minerals offshore and installing bulkheads or other erosion controls.
With thorough planning and critical analysis, drill and pile rig operators can safely and effectively complete marine projects by utilizing a barge as a platform. Depending on the location of the project, different options make the most sense, from modular platforms to more permanent fixtures.
T and U Barge Configurations
These are among the most popular barge options because they offer increased flexibility for marine applications.
T barges allow the operator to position the rig nearer to the work area and can offer 360° stability for projects which require a high level of precision in unstable conditions. Another benefit of T barges is that they allow operators to minimize the total radius needed to move the rig. This increases the reachable area that can be piled or drilled without repositioning the entire barge until the next phase is ready to kick off.
U barges operate similarly but offer the additional benefit of positioning drilling and piling rigs closer to the work area. Forward arms can be used to support templates for very precise projects in challenging conditions.
Both T and U barges present their advantages, and depending on your site’s unique conditions, can allow operators to maintain control of very accurate movements to complete any marine piling or drilling project.
Modular Barge Solutions for Piling
This is a flexible option that is popular for projects which require a more significant number of piles to be driven. Because drilling projects are often contained to a particular field of reserves, they often utilize semi-permanent platforms constructed during the early phase of a project. In making piling projects, there is often a requirement to install piles across the job site to build a foundation or permanent structure such as a bridge.
These structures feature stabilizing hydraulic legs that provide a solid platform so that piles are effectively driven and equipment can be appropriately maintained. This maximizes productivity and minimizes equipment costs, and allows for precise installation of piles in any conditions. The force generated by driving piles can cause a floating platform to rotate. The spud legs are designed to offset this to keep operations precise and accurate.
Marine drilling projects
Drilling wells from a floating vessel offshore is fundamentally similar to drilling on land. However, it requires special considerations when being done from a floating platform. The drilling action itself creates significant force, and this must be offset to ensure that the platform remains above the borehole.
Specialized equipment is necessary to compensate for the considerable vertical, horizontal, and tilting conditions that can be caused by waves and wind. This helps reduce the chance for catastrophic malfunction in waters that are subject to state and federal regulations which could result in considerable fines and civil litigation.
When you are piling or drilling from a barge, you should develop and implement a thorough checklist to ensure proper function and avoid costly downtime or delays. Because the moving parts are exposed to saltwater, they can experience corrosion or mineral buildup, which can cause equipment to require more preventative care to keep it operating at peak performance.
Also, because marine projects require the utilization of a floating barge, you need to ensure all safety measures are complied with according to local, state, and federal regulations, which can vary from restrictions for land-based projects.
While these drilling and piling projects may appear more complicated, the reality is that the principles remain the same. They just need to be adapted for maritime conditions and challenges. With careful planning and collaboration between barge operators, engineers, as well as drill and pile operators, every marine project can run smoothly.
There are numerous considerations during the planning phases of marine projects, and the specific conditions should be analyzed so that the proper equipment, from a trusted dealer, is utilized from day one. These projects may require multiple types of attachments and accessories which can operate in varying conditions.
Drilling of piling from floating platforms allows the construction of some of the most essential pieces of infrastructure for both civil and private projects.