A massive American oil production platform has arrived in Chile on a voyage of around 20,000 kilometres from California, where it was made, to the Gulf of Mexico.
A massive American oil production platform has arrived in Chile on a voyage of around 20,000 kilometres from California, where it was made, to the Gulf of Mexico. The platform is so big it won't go through the Panama Canal.
SYNOPSIS: The platform, called the George F. Ferris, arrived in Valparaiso on Monday (21 November) to take on supplies before resuming its marathon delivery trip. After setting off from the manufacturer's yard in California the platform travelled down the west coast of Latin America to Chile. From there it will pass through the Magellan Straits near the southern tip of the continent into the South Atlantic Sea and back up to the Gulf of Mexico. If it had been possible to make the journey by land across the United States, it would have covered only about 2,000 kilometres rather than 20,000. Through the Panama Canal the length of the voyage would have been more than halved. But the George F. Ferris is far too big to squeeze through.
Weighing 5,500 tons, the platform is 190 fet (58 metres) long and 122 feet (37 metres) wide. In Valparaiso the 12 original crew members were joined by Chilean pilots to help guide it through the Magellan Straits 2,500 kilometres to the south.
The gigantic chain and winch used for towing are connected to the tug Vigilant which has an engine generating 18,000 horsepower. During the voyage another tug has to accompany the platform to keep it on course. Before leaving Valparaiso 700 tons of fuel and 300 tons of water were taken on board.