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Algarve oil rig transporter lost at sea

oilrigtransportThe oil rig transporter Osprey remains in a bizarre holding pattern within the Algarve's offshore oil concession areas as environmental organisations wonder what the ship’s Captain is up to.

Reports on Monday indicated the vessel was heading to Rotterdam in the Netherlands with its single cargo of one sizeable oil rig.

Was weather to blame as the precarious-looking ensemble circles before heading up the Portuguese coastline to the Bay of Biscay, but other cargo ships have had no such hesitation as they head past the Osprey to points west.

Last weekend the Osprey had moved slowly west along the Algarve coastline at about 15 miles from the shore ending Sunday to the south of Olhão but Monday and Tuesday’s course was a gradual progress to the west with some circles along the way, a seemingly random course until one remembers the two Algarve offshore oil blocks Lagostim and Lagosta. Why is this enormous ship, 53,000 tons, circling within these controversial concession areas, or is it just chance?

Other cargo ships travelling in the shipping lane parallel to the coast all have been moving along with their loads, except the Osprey which, as it is able to be tracked online, has defied all predictions as it wimbles about on the ocean blue.

There was a determination to head west but as soon as the ship was off Sagres it turned around and headed east again on Tuesday.

The Osprey is allowed to anchor only in the Lagos area but has kept moving along, albeit slowly, at a cost estimated at between 50,000USD and 100,000USD per day.

On Tuesday evening the Osprey was heading back towards Spain but stopped to the south east of Olhão, with no bets being taken on its location tomorrow morning.

The conclusion of one old Olhão sea-dog is that the Captain either is lost, or under the affluence of inkerhol - or both.



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-4 #7 dw 2016-02-04 15:09
Some info on the ship here: http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=2282923
-4 #6 Scrabbler 2016-02-04 10:19
Gone back to Spain off Mazagon obviously does not like the publicity here.
-3 #5 dw 2016-02-04 09:51
The IPMA does have a yellow warning for rough seas for the Algarve at present:

Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera - Avisos Faro
Amarelo Agitação Marítima Na costa Sul Ondas de sueste com 2 a 2 5 metros
Válido entre 2016-02-04 12:00:00 e 2016-02-05 14:59:59 (hora UTC)
-3 #4 C Saunders 2016-02-04 09:21
I'm surprised they would want to take such an ungainly vessel through the bay of Biscay at this time of year. The pattern of movement looks awfully like exploration to me.
-1 #3 Marty 2016-02-03 11:24
Not happy with singling out this ships captain over the last few days as though he is doing something odd or wrong. This may be suspicious in some parts of the world - but this is off the Portuguese coast. And no doubt mirrors his driving on dry land so pretty routine.

Also has no one stopped for a moment to ask if the crew are not floating bales of drugs ashore? As the oil and gas explorers have promised us they will now behave and be transparent about what they are up to - we should be looking for more likely explanations.
-2 #2 Verjini 2016-02-03 11:10
It is clearly taking soundings...
-3 #1 liveaboard 2016-02-03 10:45
It could be that the intention is to offload the rig here; but if the destination is actually Rotterdam, what other ships are doing doesn't mean anything.
This vessel is carrying a difficult load, and is likely far more weather sensitive than standard cargo ships.
They will need to be confident of wave and wind conditions for the coming days before they round cape st. Vincent and into the prevailing NW winds.
As I write, the ship is supposedly off Olhao

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