Denmark’s Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents says that the crew of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel, FPSO, Maersk Ngujima-Yin handled emergency response and fire fighting effectively and competently with what they had during a fire onboard but identified a lack of safety culture and criticised management for not providing the means necessary to accommodate and coordinate the interests of the project team and the operations team, acted inadequately on the feedback from the FPSO crew during the project and has not been able to re-establish a healthy safety climate on board and says that the support for maintenance on board provided by management has been inadequate.
Of particular note in this report is that the onboard crew took ownership of safety but lost confidence in onshore managers with regard to safety and maintenance.
At approximately 1250 on the 13th of April 2009 an explosion and subsequent fire occurred in the vessel’s gas compression module M60 due to a severe breakdown of a third stage high pressure gas compressor. No persons were injured by the explosion and fire or subsequently during the fire fighting.
Among the systems that failed or did not operate as designed were:
-Deluge valves on module M60 and M70, for which there were known problems prior
to the accident.
· The old foam system failed to work on demand during the fire due to defective nozzles.
· GRE piping in two branch lines failed during the fire. The GRE piping has been subjected to radiant heat and flames during the fire and has repeatedly been subjected to pressure pulsations arising from water hammer and start-up of diesel driven fire pumps. Lloyds Register gave approval for GRE piping at L3 rating according to IMO resolution A.753(18), appendix 2.
· The water mist system failed to work on demand during the fire because a nitrogen regulator was either obstructed or closed.
· Continuous problems with the new ring fire main have been identified. The problems have not been resolved.
· Debris containing carbon deposits has been excreted from the exhaust system of the aft fire water pump. It is reasonable to believe that the carbon deposits originate from start-up of the engine where heavy black smoke is developed. The issue has raised safety concerns but has not been resolved.
· It is the assessment of The Division for Investigation of Maritime Accident that the commissioning has been inadequate and has not reflected the intention of the commissioning procedure, because the crew’s participation has been limited.
· Difficulties with the planned maintenance system SAP and corrective work originating from commissioning has compromised planned maintenance. It is the assessment of the Division for Investigation of Marine Accidents that maintenance
planning on board and maintenance support from shore management has been inadequate.
· It is the assessment of the Division for Investigation of Marine Accidents that the number of block and overrides in the ICSS has been to an extent where credibility of the systems could be called into question.
· It is the assessment of the Division for Investigation of Marine Accident that the safety climate onboard after production start-up has remained poor.
Says the DMA: “…the implementation of the health and safety policy on board the FPSO has been inadequate: The management has not provided the means necessary to accommodate and coordinate the interests of the project team and the operations team… The management has acted inadequately on the feedback from the FPSO crew during the project and has not been able to re-establish a healthy safety climate on board… The support to maintenance on board provided by management has been inadequate.”
The report should be of particular interest to onshore managers in emphasising the importance of being part of the safety system and involving crew in decisions related to maintenance and safety.