Patent Number: 6,305,881

Title: Barge stabilization method

Abstract: An oil drilling barge stabilization system and method provide that an array of substantially vertically-oriented piles is formed in the sea bed to a depth beneath the sea bed that finds solid support. A barge is towed into position over the array of piles, and the barge is partially flooded with ballast to lower it in the water so that a set of cylindrical tubes is positioned to surround top ends of at least some of the piles. Air is then forced into the tubes to force the water out the bottom of the tubes, to create a dry environment for workers. Workers weld the tubes to the piles. The air pressure is removed from the interior of the tubes so that water may again flood the bottom of the tubes. The joints between the tubes and piles secure the barge to the array of piles, even in the face of varying tides, currents, and ice flow conditions. The barge may be used to support oil rigs and a variety of other support facilities. When work at a given site is complete, air is forced into the tubes again to force the water out so that welders can disconnect the joints between the tubes and the piles. Disconnecting the joints allows the barge to rise in the water, permitting the barge to be towed to a different location.

Inventors: Schellstede; Herman J. (New Iberia, LA)

Assignee: Herman J. Schellstede & Associates, Inc.

International Classification: E02D 27/52 (20060101); E02D 27/32 (20060101); E02D 27/12 (20060101); E02D 27/14 (20060101); E02B 17/00 (20060101); E02B 017/08 (); E02D 023/08 (); E02D 027/12 ()

Expiration Date: 10/23/2018