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Asemi-submersible(semi submerged ship) is a

specialized marine vessel with legs/pontoons for buoyancy
to float, and weight to keep the structure upright,
whichused in a number of specific offshore roles as,
offshore drilling rigs,
heavy lift cranes,
oil production platforms,
safety vessels.

They are designed with good stability andsea keeping



Exploratory and production purposes;

floating structure;
towed to the site,
ballasted and moored;
large vertical columns connected to large
columns support deck structure and equipment.


Water depth 200m to 3000m,

Offers large deck space,
Exceptional stability and sea keeping,
Withstand rough waters,
Highly flexible and efficient,
Can be moved from place to place.

Mobile offshore drilling units
(MODU) or SemiSubmersible
Drilling Units (SSDU)
Semi-Submersible crane vessels
Offshore support vessels (OSV)
Offshore production platforms

Semi-Submersible Drilling Units (SSDU)

Based on the way the rig is submerged

in the water, there are two main
Bottle-type semi-subs and
Column-stabilized semi-subs

Bottle-type semi-subs
Hull below the drilling deck is Bottle-shaped.
Hull can be submerged byballasting.
Originally bottles below the rig were
completely submerged, resting on ocean floor.
As time progressed bottles were only partially
Offers exceptional stability for drilling

Column-Stabilized semi-subs
More popular design
Two horizontal hulls are connected via
cylindrical or rectangular columns to the drilling
deck above the water
Smaller diagonal columns are used to support
the structure
Mooring lines and dynamic positioning help to
keep the semi-sub on location

Mobile offshore drilling units (MODU)

SemiSubmersible Drilling Units

SSDU classified by IMO

Semi-Submersible crane vessels (SSCV)

De-ballasted during transit; only part

of the lower hull is submerged.
The vessel Ballasted during lifting
High stability allows them to lift
extreme high loads

Semi-Submersible crane vessels (SSCV)

Offshore support vessels (OSV)

Semi-submersibles are used as number of offshore
support vessels because of their good stability, large
deck areas, and variable deck load (VDL).
Construction support vessel,
Diving Support Vessel (DSV),
Offshore Safety support vessel,
Offshore accommodation platform,
Offshore Multiservice Vessel (MSV),
E.g.- Ocean Odyssey Converted semi-submersible
drilling rig used as a rocket launch pad.

Offshore production platforms

When oil fields were first developed in offshore
locations, drilling semi-submersibles were converted
for use as combined drilling and production
As progressed to deeper water and harsh
environments, purpose-built production semisubmersible platforms were designed.
Offers very stable and cost effective platforms.
Mostly converted semi-submersible vessels.

Mooring patterns and Dynamic positioning

Spread Mooring patterns and Dynamic positioning
used to keep the floating rig in place
Mooring is similar to multiple anchors
Chosen depending on shape of unit and sea conditions
Dynamic positioning uses different motors or
propulsion units to counteract motions of water
Dynamic positioning system is guided by telemetry
signals from beacons, satellite information and the
angular movements of a cable.

SemiSubmersible Drilling
Units SSDU

1. Semi-submersibles can achieve

good (small) motion response
and, therefore, can be more
easily positioned over a well
template for drilling.
2. Most stable of any floating rig.
3. Semi-submersibles allow for a
large number of flexible risers.
4. Provides large deck area.
5. Transportation from location to
location is easy.
6. Can be reused and converted to
other support vessels.

1. High initial and operating costs.

2. Pipeline infrastructure or other
means is required to export
produced oil.
3. Building schedules for semisubmersibles are usually longer
than jack-up rigs.
4. Limited deck load (low reserve
5. Structural fatigue.
6. Expensive to move large
7. Limited dry-docking facilities

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