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Publication numberUS2581098 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 1, 1952
Filing dateJul 29, 1949
Priority dateJul 29, 1949
Publication numberUS 2581098 A, US 2581098A, US-A-2581098, US2581098 A, US2581098A
InventorsGuenzel William T
Original AssigneeStandard Oil Dev Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for marine operations
US 2581098 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 1, 1952 W. T. GUENZEL APPARATUS F OR MARINE OPERATIONS Filed July 29, 1949 Ir: 'HI I H;

II" II II I I OCEAN FLOOR REMOVABLE 32 PONTOON SEA 000K FIG. 5. W JE 9/1 (Sign 441mg dag 3? AGN- Patented Jan. .1,-1952 William T. Guenzel,- Houston, Tex.,

mesne assignments, to Standard ment Company, Elizabeth, N. J.,

of Delaware assignor, by Oil Developa corporation Application July 29, 1949, Serial No. 107,408

7 Claims.

The present invention is directed to apparatus which is suitable for use and operations in a Q body; of water. More particularly, the invention is: directed to apparatus for supporting a; plat- I and the like suitable for. use in marine -"opcrations. In its more specific aspects, the in ventlon is directed to apparatuszwhich may be submerged or raised from the ocean floor and is adapted to supporting a platform and the like. .yPrio'r'to thepresent invention itjias been old I drive. piling and construct various structures supported on the oceanfioor on Aldrich platforms and the like inay be built andfrbiir'vlrhichbrilling operationsimay be conducted. ("It has also known tobuild oil well derricks and the [like on barges and to sink or partially sink the barges to the bottom of a body oi'water and {from the sunken or partially sunken conduct drilling, operation as conventionally conducted on land. It has also been known to rei'abricatestructures suitable to load on barges and. various vessels and then to transfer the prefabricated structure to the locationat sea where g 1% is?tprovide support for oil wel l., dril1in'g opera-' 1 ons. 1

All of the foregoing expedients are disadvanftageousin that they are expensige and furtherv more, present hazards when operations are con- "ducted in water over 50 feet in depth. Thus, in

-. waters in the Gulf of Mexico ranging. in depths from 50 to 200 feet, it is not feasible to build large structures ashore and to transport them on barges, since the area exposed to wind and waves is so great and the structures so unwieldly that there is danger of capsizing them. Driving piling and constructing platforms thereon in waters ranging in depth from 50,to 200 feet also presents hazards and disadvantages which may make them impractical.

It is, therefore, the main object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus which may be constructed ashore and safely towed to the location at sea or ofishore where the drilling operation is to be conducted.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved structure which may be prefabricated ashore, towed to its location and submerged to provide a support for a platform and the like.

' Another object of the present invention is to provide a structure which may be easily submerged and raised.

Fig. 1 is an end view of the apparatus of the present invention in a horizontal position for towing to the location;

Fig. 2 is an end view of the apparatus of Fig. 1 after it has. been submerged in a vertical position from which the operation is to be conducted;

Fig. 3 is a view of the apparatus of Fig. 2 taken along the lines III--III.

Fig. 4 is an end view of another embodiment of the invention showing a diiferent type of buoyant member and means for supporting same; and

Fig. 5 is a detail of the apparatus of Figs. 1, 2, 3 and .4 showing means for coupling the buoyant members together and means for admitting and discharging water therefrom.

In the several figures of parts.

The principal present invention include a pair of structure members I I rigidly attached to base or buoyant members l2. Each of structure members II is provided with removable buoyant members ii. The apparatus platforms I 4.

Referring now to Fig. 1, numeral ii the drawing identicalnumerals will be employed to designate identical" parts of the apparatus of the.

is adapted to support decks "or" designates a pair of prefabricated template frame struotaken with the drawing of which tures which are rigidly attached to base buoyan'tf members or pontoons l2. Pontoons I! are hinged together with a loose pin hinge I 3 which is shown in the open position and the structures H are folded to the horizontal position with the base buoyant members l2 assuming a vertical position. It is understood, of course, that when the structure members ll bers l2 are in use, the-structure members II will assume a vertical position and the buoyant members l2 will assume a horizontalpositionand the hinges l3 will be in the closed position.

The structure members ll may be provided with a plurality of decks H asdesired. The structure members II, when in the horizontal position as shown on Fig. l, are supported by the pontoons l2 and second buoyant members l5 which are hinged to the structure members II with hinges IS. The second buoyant members l5 may be compartmented pontoons provided with suitable ballasting and are designed to be removed by uncoupling the hinges I 6. The hinges l6 are designed to allow the structure members II to pivot about the hinges I6, while the members l5 remain in a substantially horizontal position and provide buoyancy for the structure members II. The structure members I I and buoyant members I 2, have attached thereand the buoyant memto a plurality of conduits I! through which pilin may be driven to maintain the structure 'in a vertical position as shown in Fig. 2. members l2 are compartmented, sized and shaped to provide the desired buoyancy and may be suitably coupled together by couplings i8 when in a towing position as shown in Figs. 1 and 5.

Referring to Fig. 2 wherein an end view of the apparatus of the present invention is shown submerged to the bottom of a body of water, it will be seen that piling l9 may be driven into conduits I! to anchor the structure at its location.

The embodiment of Fig. 4 is identical to the embodiments of Figs. 1 to 3 with the exception that the buoyant members supporting the structure when in a horizontal position are elliptical rather than rectangular in shape. In this embodiment the horizontal member may be elliptical, as shown, or cylindrical in shape. Thus structure members H are provided with brackets 30 carrying'a sling 3| which is thrown around a buoyant member 32 and lashed into the curved portion 33 of bracket 30 to allow the structures II to pivot around the buoyant members 32 in a manner similar to that described with respect to Figures 1 and 2.

Fig. shows a detail of the pontoon members l2 with a cutaway portion of the structure ll attached thereto. In Fig. 5 it will be noted that the buoyant members i2 may be rigidly connected together'by coupling members 13 to assure rigidity of the structure when in a towing position and when the buoyant members [2 are in a vertical position and the hinge I3 is in the open position. In Fig. 5 means .are shown for admitting and discharging water to the buoyant members l2. This is accomplished by a plurality of sea cocks 4| arranged along the bottom of the buoyant members l2 and operated by remote control from platforms Hi. There is also provided a plurality of inlets 42 for admitting air or other gaseous media under pressure to the buoyant members l2 to discharge water therefrom. Inlets 42 are connected by piping to equipment and suitable manifolds for controlling the ballasting or dewatering of the pontoons l2 and also provide means for escape of air from the buoyant members 12 when water is being admitted thereto through sea cocks I i.

The apparatus in the present invention is constructed in two parts which are adapted to dovetail and to form one structure and may be bolted or connected together at points above water as shown in Fig. 2 where it will be seen that the structure ll may be bolted or coupled together at connections 20.

In locating the apparatus of the present invention a pair of structures ll, adapted to dovetail and to connect together as described, is prefabricated on land on a pair of hinged pontoons or buoyant members similar to buoyant members l2. These pontoons may be hinged together with loose pin hinges and the structure to which has been attached removable pontoons or buoyant members l5 turned on a side: with the hinge in the open position and floated in the water by means of the buoyancy of the buoyant members I2 and I5. The couplings or connections [8 are rigidly fixed and the whole structure in the open position, which may be as much as 300 feet or more depending on the depth of the water in which it is to be located, towed to the site which has previously been prepared. It may be necessary to level the bottom or the sea at which the apparatus is to be located and this may be done by various means well known to the art. Assuming that the apparatus has reached its position where it is to be located and is in the position shown in Figs. 1 and 5, the couplings 18 are disengaged and sea cocks H are opened allowing water to be admitted to the buoyant members l2. At the same time the tugs oi boats towing the apparatus may exert tension on the structure H at each end to assist in controlling the closing or opening of the hinges 13. As the water rushes into the buoyant members l2, these base members gradually sink. As a result, the structure members H pivot about the hinges IE or the pontoons 32 and slowly assume a vertical position as shown in Fig. 2. While the base members [2 are being submerged, the buoyant members 15 or 32 provide stability and support for the structure. The structure in a vertical position with the hinges l3 closed is then seated on the bottom of the body of water in-which it is being submerged by ballasting pontoons l2 and [5 or 32 as required. Once the apparatus of the present invention has reached the position indicated in Fig. 2, piling may then be inserted in the conduits I! defined by the structure II and the buoyant members l2 and driven therethrough into the ocean floor to anchor and support or provide rigidity for the whole structure.

After the apparatus has been located, the buoyant members if and 32, as the case may be, may be disconnected and towed ashore for re-use in supporting other similar structures for towing to a desired location.

When the apparatus of the present invention is to be moved, this may be accomplished by reversing the process. The piling [9 would be withdrawn and the buoyant members l5 and 32 would be attached to the structure. Air or other gases under pressure would be admitted to the inlet lines 42 and water would be forced under pressure out of the sea cocks 4| which would exert a jetting action on the ocean floor and cause the buoyant members l2 to be released therefrom. As water is discharged from the buoyant members I2, the structure would gradually rise and pivot around buoyant members [5 and 32 until the structure H was resting thereorrand supported. in the water with the apparatus again assuming a horizontal position shown in Figs. 1 and 5.

It will be seen from the foregoing description, taken with the drawing, that apparatus has been described which may be constructed on land and located at sea with a minimum of effort. It can also be seen that apparatus has been described which may be moved from one location to another without difficulty. While the apparatus of the present invention has particular application to provide a platform from which oil well drilling operations may be conducted, it is also adaptable to support tanks and other structures at sea. For example, during the recent war, in the Thames estuary in England, it was necessary to construct pill boxes to prevent depredations of enemy aircraft in sowing mines. The present invention would be readily adaptable to support such structures.

The device of the present invention has been described with respect to a template structure, but it will be readily understood that it is adaptable to any prefabricated structure rigidly attached to pontoons, barges, other buoyant members, and the like.

It will be apparent to the skilled workman that the pontoon or buoyant members may be constructed in compartments and that the buoyant members l2, l or 32 may be suitably ballasted when the apparatus is being towed, submerged or raised. It is within the purview of my invention to construct the apparatus of the present invention of timber or various structural metals. It will be desirable, however, to choose a constructional material whichwill resist the corrosive action of sea water and sea air.

The nature and objects of the present invention having been completely described and illustrated, what I wish to claim as new and useful and to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. Apparatus for supporting a platform and the like adapted for marine operations which comprises, in combination, a first pair of buoyant members, a pair of template structures, each one of which is rigidly attached at a lower end to one of said buoyant members and at an upper end thereof to one of a pair of platforms supported thereby adapted to form together when connected one substantially horizontal platform when said first pair of buoyant members are in a horizontal position. connection means for said platforms adapted to dovetail same when the platforms assume a horizontal position, hinging means connecting said buoyant members and adapted to assume open and closed positions, said structures being in a substantially horizontal position and said buoyant members and said platforms beingflin a substantially vertical position and said structures being in a substantially vertical position and said buoyant members and said platforms being in a substantially horizontal position when said hinging means are in,a closed position, a second pair of buoyant members each one of which is pivotably mounted to one of said structures at a point intermediate the lower and the upper ends thereof and adapted to support said structures in water with said first pair of buoyant members in the vertical position, and means for submer'ging and raising both pairs of buoyant members.

2. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said second buoyant members are removably mounted on said structures.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said first and second buoyant members are pontoons.

4. Apparatus for supporting a platform and the like adapted for marine operations which comprises, in combination, a first pair of buoyant members, a pair of template structures each one of which is rigidly attached at a lower end to one of said buoyant members and at an upper end thereof to one of. a pair of platforms supported thereby adapted to form together when connected one substantially horizontal platform when said first pair of buoyant members are in a horizontal position,-hinge means connecting said buoyant members and adapted to assume open and closed positions, said structures being in a substantially horizontal position and said buoyant members and platforms being in a substantially vertical position when said hinging means are in an open position and said struchinging means are in an open position tures being in a substantially vertical position and said buoyant members and platforms being in a substantially horizontal position when said in water with said first pair of buoyant members in the vertical position, first coupling means mounted on and adapted to connect said first pair of buoyant members when said first buoyant members are in the vertical position, second coupling means mounted on and adapted to connect said structures when said structures are in a vertical position, and means for submerging and raising said first pair of buoyant members.

5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 3 in which said second buoyant members are removably mounted on said structures.

6. Apparatus for supporting a platform and the like adapted for marine operations which comprises a first pair of buoyant members, a pair of template structures defining with said buoyant members a plurality of conduits adapted to receive piling, each one of said structures being rigidly attached at a lower buoyant members and at an upper end thereof to one of a pair of platforms supported thereby adapted to form together when connected one substantially horizontal platform when said first pair of buoyant members are in a horizontal position, connection means for said platforms adapted to dovetail same when the platforms assume a horizontal position, hinging means connecting said buoyant members and adapted to assume open and closed positions, said structures being in a substantially horizontal position and said buoyant members and platforms being in a substantially vertical position when said hinging means are in an open position and said structures being in a substantially vertical position and said buoyant members and platforms being in a substantially horizontal position when said hinging means are in a closed position, a second pair of buoyant members each one of which is pivotably mounted to one of said structures at a point intermediate the lower and upper ends thereof and adapted to support said structures in water with said first pair of buoyant members in the ,vertical position, and means for submerging and raising said first pair of buoyant members.

7. Apparatus in accordance with claim 6 in which said second buoyant members are removably mounted on said structures.

WILLIAM T. GUENZEL.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the

Patent Citations
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US2210408 *Sep 8, 1938Aug 6, 1940Lee C Moore & Company IncMarine working platform substructure
US2327118 *Dec 28, 1940Aug 17, 1943Texas CoSubmersible barge
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2677935 *Feb 11, 1950May 11, 1954Signal Oil & Gas CoSubmarine drilling platform
US2817212 *Oct 25, 1954Dec 24, 1957Frederick Snare CorpMethod for erecting and dismantling support structure
US2968930 *Oct 12, 1955Jan 24, 1961Offshore Structures & ServiceMobile self-erecting marine platforms
US3007316 *Mar 3, 1955Nov 7, 1961Higgins IncSeparable submergible portable platform
US3054267 *May 29, 1957Sep 18, 1962Belco Petroleum CorpMethod of and means for launching and erecting offshore structures
US3253417 *Mar 20, 1963May 31, 1966Socony Mobil Oil Co IncMarine structure and method of erecting same
US3496897 *May 17, 1968Feb 24, 1970Texaco IncApparatus for transporting a floatable marine platform
US4266887 *Jun 10, 1977May 12, 1981Brown & Root, Inc.Self-elevating fixed platform
US4639166 *Apr 17, 1985Jan 27, 1987Pmb Systems Engineering LimitedConstruction of jackets
US4784085 *Jul 11, 1986Nov 15, 1988John SchoessowSupport standard for implement
US6132143 *Apr 23, 1997Oct 17, 2000Allseas Group S.A.Method for lifting a sea platform from the substructure
US7958836 *May 2, 2008Jun 14, 2011Aker Marine Contractors Inc.Stabilizing chamber for use with a mobile offshore unit
US8312828 *Feb 26, 2009Nov 20, 2012Technip FrancePreloading to reduce loads and save steel on topsides and grillage of catamaran systems
US8647017 *Aug 8, 2012Feb 11, 2014Ausenco Canada Inc.Gravity base structure
DE1105751B *Jan 22, 1959Apr 27, 1961Orenstein & Koppel AgSchwenkbar und loesbar mit einem Wasserfahrzeug verbundener Stabilisierungs- bzw. Auftriebsponton, insbesondere fuer Schwimmbagger
Classifications
U.S. Classification405/204, 114/49, 405/206
International ClassificationE02B17/02, E02B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationE02B17/027
European ClassificationE02B17/02D