by Rita Robison, Associate Editor; Civil Engineering,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 7, Pg. 34-37

Document Type: Feature article


The 1989 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement is an offshore oil production platform named Bullwinkle, a structure in the Gulf of Mexico that is taller than the Sears Tower, shaped somewhat like Chicago's John Hancock Building, weighing more than 75,000 tons and named for a Shell Oil Co. prospect field. Bullwinkle, 1,615 ft tall in 1,315 ft of water is nearly 600 ft taller than the previous world's tallest platform, also built by Shell and, in 1980, also named OCEA by ASCE. The technical and procedural innovations that led to Bullwinkle's honors also led to delivery of the 1,365 ft tall jacket in one piece; installation aided by remote operated vehicles rather than deep sea divers; and compensation of contractors during the bid phase for performing fabrication and installation engineering. Advancements were also made in the technology of computer design, drafting and data management, and in computer control of fabrication. Bullwinkle's $250 million construction cost is less than 50% that of Cognac.

Subject Headings: Offshore platforms | Fabrication | Shell structures | Gulfs | Developing countries | Innovation | Vehicles | Seas and oceans | Gulf of Mexico

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