Feb 212016
 

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA,  says an improperly adjusted winch brake, which it refers to as ‘vulnerable’, led to the unintentionally launch of a lifeboat from the mobile unit Mærsk Giant at about 05.10 on Wednesday 14 January 2015.

This incident occurred during testing of the lifeboat systems.

During testing, one of the lifeboats unintentionally descended to the sea. Efforts were made to activate the manual brake on the lifeboat winch, but it was not working. The lifeboat entered the water and drifted beneath the unit. The steel wires holding it were eventually torn off.

After the incident, the lifeboat drifted away from Mærsk Giant, accompanied by a standby vessel. The lifeboat eventually reached land at Obrestad south of Stavanger.

Nobody was in the lifeboat when the incident occurred, and no personnel were injured.

The PSA conducted an investigation which established that the direct cause of the incident was a reduction in the braking effect of the brake on the lifeboat winch owing to faulty adjustment. If the manual brake failed during maintenance with people in the lifeboat, or during an actual evacuation, serious personal injury or deaths could have resulted.

Should the lifeboat have descended during an actual evacuation, a partially filled lifeboat could have reached the sea without a lifeboat captain on board. The PSA also considers it likely that people would have been at risk of falling from the lifeboat or the muster area should a descent have started. The potential consequence could be fatalities.

Five nonconformities were identified by this investigation. These related to

  • maintenance routines for the lifeboat davit system
  • training
  • procedures relating to lifeboats and evacuation
  • periodic programme for competent control and ensuring the expertise of personnel carrying out maintenance work
  • qualification and follow-up of contractors.

Mærsk Giant is operated by Maersk Drilling Norge.

PSA Report (Norwegian)

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Jan 192015
 

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority is investigation the fall of an umanned lifeboat from the rig Maersk Giant during a test in which a wire rope broke, dropping the lfeboat which then drifted underneath the facility.  Later the lifeboat drifted away from Mærsk Giant with an emergency vessel as escort. Continue reading »

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This Week’s Podcast: The Case of the Toppling Tug

 Accident, Accident report, AHTS, capsize, Offshore, Offshore tug, podcast, Podcasts, tug  Comments Off on This Week’s Podcast: The Case of the Toppling Tug
Dec 082014
 

Listen To The Podcast

Seven years ago Bourbon Dolphin capsized during a rig move. It was a tragedy that sent waves thorough the offshore industry but have the lessons been learned?

It is still dark early on the morning of 30th March 2007 in Scalloway, Shetland as Norwegian Captain Oddne Remoy boards the Bourbon Dolphin for the first time. Bourbon Dolphin is less than a year old, painted in the distinctive green and white house colours of Bourbon Offshore Norway. She flies the Norwegian flag.

Remoy is to relieve from the vessel’s existing master, Frank Reiersen, as part of the vessel’s shift – five weeks on and five weeks off and is replacing the ship’s other regular master, Hugo Hansen.  Hansen and Remoy have already discussed Bourbon Dolphin by telephone. Continue reading »

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PSA Probes Eldfisk Hydrocarbon Release

 Accident, Accident Investigation, Offshore  Comments Off on PSA Probes Eldfisk Hydrocarbon Release
Aug 142014
 

eldfiskNorway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA, says that it is going to carry out its own investigation into a hydrogen incident early on the morning of Thursday 7 August, which led to the discharge of stabilised oil to the sea from the Eldfisk FTP field terminal platform.

PSA says its decision to launch its own investigation “reflects the seriousness of the incident and the information received about it. Among other goals, the inquiry will seek to establish the course of events, identify the direct and underlying causes, and follow up ConocoPhillips’ own investigations of the ESD and leak”.

Continue reading »

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Aug 112014
 

safespaceOGP, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, has issued a safety alert following the death of a worker at a construction/rig repair yard in Singapore in May this year. The worker had entered an enclosed space which was inerted with argon gas for a welding operation.

Argon does not do much which is why it is useful in processes like welding where a non-combustible atmosphere is needed to prevent fire and explosions. It can also kill, as this case shows.

Too often there is more than one casualty. The first victim is joined by those who follow attempting a rescue. About two thirds of casualties are would-be rescuers.

Continue reading »

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Offshore Helicopter Accidents: UK Legislators Call For Public Inquiry As Offshore Workers Bullied Into Silence

 helicopter, maritime safety news, North Sea, Offshore  Comments Off on Offshore Helicopter Accidents: UK Legislators Call For Public Inquiry As Offshore Workers Bullied Into Silence
Jul 142014
 

helicopterAfter studying five helicopter accidents in the North Sea over four years the UK Parliament’s Transport Committee has called for a full pubic enquiry into whether commercial pressures are putting offshore workers at risk. It also criticised ‘regulatory inertia’ on the part of the European Aviation Safety Agency. EASA.

Says the Transport committee: “A full, independent, public inquiry must be convened to address whether commercial pressure from oil and gas companies affects the safety of offshore helicopter operations. This inquiry must also examine the role of the Civil Aviation Authority”.

On 23 August 2013, a helicopter crashed into the sea while on approach to Sumburgh Airport on Shetland. Four passengers were killed. This crash prompted the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to undertake a wide-ranging review into offshore helicopter safety which reported in February. Continue reading »

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Deepwater Horizon – More Tragedies In The Pipeline?

 Accident Investigation, accident reporting, explosion, fire, Offshore  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon – More Tragedies In The Pipeline?
Jun 072014
 

DWHEffective compression, a phenomenon not previously identified as a problem with drill pipe during well operations, lead to the failure of the Blow Out Preventer, BOP, to shut off oil and gas flow on the Deepwater Horizon. The phenomenon caused the pipe to buckle almost as soon ss the explosion began which suggests the danger still exists in other blow-out preventers currently in use.

Says the US Chemical Safety Board , which hs relesed its draft report on the incident: ” The blowout preventer that was intended to shut off the flow of high-pressure oil and gas from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico during the disaster on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20, 2010, failed to seal the well because drill pipe buckled for reasons the offshore drilling industry remains largely unaware of”.

The blowout caused explosions and a fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig, leading to the deaths of 11 personnel onboard and serious injuries to 17 others.  Nearly 100 others escaped from the burning rig, which sank two days later, leaving the Macondo well spewing oil and gas into Gulf waters for a total of 87 days. By that time the resulting oil spill was the largest in offshore history.  The failure of the BOP directly led to the oil spill and contributed to the severity of the incident on the rig.

According to the CSB report concluded that the pipe buckling likely occurred during the first minutes of the blowout, as crews desperately sought to regain control of oil and gas surging up from the Macondo well.  Although other investigations had previously noted that the Macondo drill pipe was found in a bent or buckled state, this was assumed to have occurred days later, after the blowout was well underway. Continue reading »

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Publications of Note: Norway’s PSA Remembers Piper Alpha

 Accident, Offshore, publications  Comments Off on Publications of Note: Norway’s PSA Remembers Piper Alpha
Feb 272013
 
Photo: Seconds from Disaster

167 workers died when Piper Alpha exploded on 6 July 1988: Photo: Seconds from Disaster

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority looks at the 25 anniversary of the Piper Alpha tragedy this year in the latest issue of its annual Status and Signals publication.  In all its gruesomeness, Piper Alpha contributed insights and an understanding of risk to the international industry.

The publication also takes a closer look at other accidents and near misses which have contributed to a better grasp of safety – from the 1977 Ekofisk Bravo blowout to the Gullfaks C well incident in 2010.

Says PSA: “The primary reason for focusing on the most serious incidents is the PSA’s belief in the value of learning and experience transfer. Although it can be painful to revisit major accidents and critical incidents, such a review can help to reduce the risk of experiencing new ones”.

Meanwhile, Lord Cullen is to be keynote speaker at the Oil & Gas UK  safety conference to be held in the summer to mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster.

Piper 25, a three-day event to be held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from 18 to 20 June 2013 and principally sponsored by Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Limited, will bring together people from across the global oil and gas industry to reflect on the lessons learnt from the tragedy, review how far offshore safety has evolved since and to reinforce industry commitment to continuous improvement.

Safety Status and Signals

Piper Alpha Conference

2008 Documentary

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Swire Mini-Container Hinge Warning

 maritime safety news, Offshore, Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Swire Mini-Container Hinge Warning
Feb 152013
 

swireSwire Oilfield Services has warned of potential door hinge failure on its AMF Mini containers AMF 651 to AMF 1104. The wrong grade of steel was used in the hinge assembly which could result in hinge pin failure.

Users have been advised to quarantine units and Swire is recalling them for repair where necessary.

For more information download the safety alert

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