Massive Ocean Monarch oil rig to be anchored between City Beach and Rottnest Island for maintenance

The Ocean Monarch off Perth. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
The Ocean Monarch off Perth. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

THE 21,129-tonne Ocean Monarch oil rig anchored between City Beach and Rottnest Island has had starring roles in a Hollywood blockbuster and an alleged tax-evasion scheme.

“The Ocean Monarch drilling rig will be anchored about 9km from Fremantle Port in Fremantle Ports’ Outer Anchorage for two to three months,” a Fremantle Port Authority spokeswoman said.

The rig has been working for BHP in the North West, and is undergoing maintenance work while at anchor in Perth’s waters escaping the north’s cyclone season.

The spokeswomen said it would not come into the port or Henderson for the work.

In 1998, the 1974-built, semi-submersible rig featured in action movie Armageddon starring Bruce Willis.

More recently, the US-owned rig has been drilling in the state’s North-West.

Earlier this year it was caught up in accusations its operators were using a roster allowing its crew to be in Australia less than the 183 days required to pay tax.

The 107m x 101m rig was upgraded in 2008 and can drill to distances of 10,668m and operate in water up to 3048m deep.

It was reported it will be in Perth waters for about 30 days before undergoing maintenance and being towed by tugs for work in Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania.

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