Mar 12, 2012 7:24 AM by AP
MORGAN CITY, La. (AP) - An international society of engineers is naming the nation's first floating offshore oil drilling rig a historic mechanical engineering landmark.
ASME will hold the ceremony on Saturday at the rig Mr. Charlie in Morgan City, where it is now a museum and training facility.
Mr. Charlie was built in 1952-53 and drilled hundreds of wells in the Gulf of Mexico between 1954 and 1986.
Its drills and other machinery were on a 220-foot floating barge so it could be towed from place to place. When it was over a drill site, its giant pontoons were flooded with seawater, so it sat on the sand for safe drilling.
It worked in waters averaging 40 feet, and became obsolete when the industry began drilling in deeper waters.