When leading oil or gas companies have extracted as much as they expect from an oil or gas rig, their work is far from over. Salvaging operations are required to remove rigs from the ocean. Historically rigs have been removed by teams of divers and took months as the rigs were cut apart, and sections lifted to the surface piece by piece. With rigs going deeper and deeper, divers dove to depths of up to 500 feet. Pieces cut from the rig were lifted by derricks.
Needless to say, risks were great, it was expensive, and a new system was called to improve the situation. A company called Versabar, founded by University of Illinois civil engineering graduate Jon Khachaturian, who holds over 50 patents, pioneered the use of new hydraulic winches, custom chain jacks, debris recovery, subsea lowering systems, deck raising, umbilical and riser pull-ins, deployment of subsea jumper bars, and more.
Versabar develops custom solutions, some costing as much as $100 million, to deal with the unique requirements of each project. One of its most impressive technologies is the “Bottom Feeder” (see video):
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