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

Feb 122013
 

A PSV was working alongside an installation and had successfully completed a discharge of oil based mud (OBM) to the installation via the mud hose. The vessel was subsequently required to deliver base oil (BO) using the same (OBM) delivery hose.

In order for the hose to reach the BO manifold onboard, the vessel would be required to re-position the OBM hose from the forward hang off pin to the aft hang off pin. This was to be executed utilising the platforms crane. The OBM hose was connected to the crane pennant and was lifted clear from the forward hang off pin in the usual manner. It was then transferred aft and re-positioned to one of the hang off pins adjacent to the BO connection. Once the hose was in the required position the hang off sling was placed over the pin.

The ABs noticed that the hose hang off sling was displaying signs of wear and tear / damage during the re- positioning of the hose from the forward to the aft pin. They however continued with the operation and as a precautionary measure they decided to secure the hose with a piece of rope as a backup. Continue reading »

Feb 082013
 
Lower half of failed LMRP Connector

Lower half of failed LMRP Connector

Brittle bolts are believed to have been behind a pollution incident involving the discharge of synthetic base mud into the Gulf of Mexico, GOM, due to a loss of integrity of a LMRP H-4 connector says the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, BSEE. Operations on a number of wells have been suspended.

On January 24, 2013, BSEE personnel met with industry to discuss initial findings associated with the incident. During this meeting, a qualified third-party presented preliminary evidence that the stress corrosion cracking caused by hydrogen embrittlement was a contributor to the incident. It was introduced that zinc electroplating without proper baking, as per ASTM B633, was a possible cause of hydrogen embrittlement. During this meeting,

BSEE was told of two other rigs as having H-4 connector bolt failures.

On January 25, 2013, BSEE received information from the connector vendor which identified rigs as having blowout preventer, BOP, stack connectors that may contain bolts that may no longer be fit for purpose. BSEE issued emails to the associated operators of the subset of rigs with current well operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The content of the emails notified these operators of the initial findings and gave specific instructions on securing the current well operations in order to retrieve the LMRP and/or BOP to the surface, if not already on the surface.

These operators were directed to then suspend operations until the existing bolts on the LMRP connector/wellhead connector could be changed out with bolts that have been certified by an independent third-party to be in compliance with recommended heat treatment practices or the existing bolts have been examined and certified by an independent third-party that they are fit for purpose.

In order to ensure all of these affected bolts are identified and proper corrective action is taken,
BSEE recommends the following:
Operators are hereby urged to make an inventory of your contracted rigs [currently involved in well operations in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (GOM) or planned to conduct well operations in the GOM] and investigate the bolts of the LMRP and Wellhead connectors.
If you have H-4 connectors, as identified in GE’s safety notice, and have verified through documentation that the connector contains any affected bolts, you should immediately notify BSEE. You should also consult with your contractors and subcontractors to determine the appropriate inspection, disposition and/or corrective actions. BSEE will require an independent third-party certification that confirms proper inspection and refurbishment processes were completed prior to reinstallation of any affected bolts.
Operators should review the QA/QC programs for all equipment vendors (contracted and sub- contracted) to ensure that all equipment is being manufactured to the required specifications.

Special attention should be given to ensure proper heat treating has taken place in accordance with the specifications.

BSEE Alert

Jul 162012
 

Mooring line No. 5 after the accident

Marine Safety Forum warns that a MODU was moored with eight mooring lines and connected to the well. A loud noise was heard originating from aft, port side column and it was observed on the tension monitoring that the mooring line no. 5 lost its initial tension of 145mT down to 45mT.

The MODU got an excursion of 12 meters from initial position and the MODU tilted 2,3 degrees. Angle on lower flex joint was less than 2 degrees. Ballasting system was run to stabilize the MODU and the thrusters operated in manual mode to re-locate the MODU back to its initial position prior to the mooring line failure.

It was identified some time thereafter that the fiber rope insert in mooring line no. 5 had failed. The triggering cause was that the subsurface buoy shackle/chain came into contact with the fibre rope insert and lead to loss of integrity of the fiber rope insert.

Critical Factors (CF) that lead to the incident:
CF1: Subsurface buoy shackle and chain fastened too close to the fiber line
CF2: Rotational movement of the mooring line lead to the subsurface buoy arrangement getting tangled up into the fiber line (Fig 2)

Recommendations:

1. Install subsurface buoy to the bottom chain segment by “snotter” shackle in a safe distance to avoid the subsurface buoy to reach the fiber line segment connection point

2. Install high tension swivels in both ends of the fiber line insert

3. Evaluate use of swivels during test tension to avoid twist in pre-installed anchor lines

4. Assess the use of ROV survey when the MODU has achieved work tension in the mooring lines

5. All parties involved in the rig move process, is recommended to make themself familiar with industry learning related to mooring line failures and by doing so, bring learning forward in risk assessments and point-out potential weaknesses in rig move documentation issued for review

Rig Specific Corrective Action Plans to be developed, tracked and closed.

Download Safety Alert

Jan 012012
 

stepback

Some accidents make one wonder whether Mr. Bean wrote the script. A recent safety alert for the Marine Safety Forum is an example. It could, of course, have been much worse, and did potentially put others in danger.

The MSF safety alert goes thusly, in its own words: “During preparation for tank cleaning onboard a PSV, one of the AB’s fell from the main deck down in starboard methanol tank. The fall height was 4,30 m. The AB was securing the area with blocking (barrier) tape and while moving backwards, he stepped into the tank. The injured person (IP) fractured his femur.

The vessel splanned start tank cleaning later that night, and the deck crew was removing the hatches from the man-holes in the cargo-rail in order to measure the content of oxygen, and ventilation of the tanks below main-deck. In total, 16 hatches were to be opened. After opening each tank, the Chief Officer measured the oxygen, and safety barriers were arranged around each tank. In
addition, a plastic grating was laid over each man-hole.

Continue reading »

Jul 132011
 

Brent Charlie

Marine Safety Forum, MSF, has issued a safety flash regarding rope access following the death of a rope access technician in a fall from the Shell Brent Charlie platform some 120 miles north east of Lerwick in Shetland.

Says MSF: “On June 16th, 2011 a fatal accident happened on the Shell Platform Brent Charlie in the North Sea. The victim was a rope access technician who was working for BIS Salamis.

Although the investigation into this tragic accident is currently in progress the following memorandum from the HSEQ manager of BIS Salamis has been forwarded to us by Shell: Continue reading »

May 302011
 

Investigation determined that a 6 3⁄4-inch diameter, 862-pound chain link in the tether chain had fractured and separated near its butt weld.

In early 2011, a single point mooring system for a deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM) project failed at the tether chain for a free-standing hybrid riser, allowing the buoyancy air can and the free-standing flowline riser to separate. The 440-ton buoyancy air can rose suddenly to the surface while the free standing riser collapsed. Based on the investigation of this event and a review of historical events, BOEMRE is revising and re-issuing Safety Alert #259.

 

The investigation determined that a 6 3/4-inch diameter, 862-pound chain link in the tether chain had fractured and separated near its butt weld. Analysis of the fracture indicated that the chain link had a weld repair and the fracture initiated in the middle of the weld. Three links of the 24-link tether chain were found to have weld repairs. After the chain had been heat treated, the non-US based manufacturer had made weld repairs to the chain by grinding defects and filling the void with weld material. The chain was being built in accordance with Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Offshore Mooring Chain standard. Post heat treat weld repairs are disallowed per DNV’s Offshore Mooring Chain standard. The post heat treat weld repairs made the chain susceptible to hydrogen induced stress cracking due to the extreme hardness of the weld material and the residual stress within the weld. Continue reading »

May 282011
 

Emergency evacuation of Montara Wellhead Platform and West Atlas mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) using lifeboats on 21 August 2010 Image courtesy of Skytruth

Recent inspections conducted by Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority, NOPSA, and information provided to NOPSA have raised concerns regarding the general condition of some Totally Enclosed Motor Propelled Survival Craft (TEMPSC) currently in use in the offshore regime.

 

Inspection findings have resulted in nine enforcement actions on facility operators in the past four months.

The enforcement actions focused primarily on the lack of effective routine maintenance and inspections being conducted on facility TEMPSC.

TEMPSC were identified with damaged or broken safety harnesses, unsecured and loose items, and illegible safety and operating instructions. A shortfall in the competencies of personnel assigned to essential lifeboat duties was also noted. Continue reading »

Mar 302011
 
chains___

Two incidents involving chain slings have revealed that chains made by an as-yet unnamed Chinese manufacturer may fail well below their safe working limit. Step Change In Safety has issued an alert on the incident.

On two separate occasions chain slings were used to perform lifting operations. The slings, from the same supplier, failed whilst a lift was being performed.

In the first incident an arrangement of four 5.3 tonne collared chain slings were used in a ‘basket’ configuration around the lifting points of a 20 tonne concrete block. After 5 blocks had been moved using this method team members noticed that one of the chain links had parted at its weld point.

The second Incident invoved two 2-legged 11.2 tonne chain slings to create a 4 point sling arrangement was used to relocate 13 tonne concrete blocks, similar to the first incident, after four blocks had been moved the work party noticed that a link in the chain had failed at its weld point.

The lift plan and slinging arrangement techniques were appropriate for the task. All of the slings were new prior to the start of the operations.

The chain slings were sourced from a single supplier.

It was found that the chains received were certified by batch testing only and it transpired that the name and signature on the certification was replicated by computerised signature and not necessarily the person who actually carried out the inspection or testing, giving concerns as to whether there had been any testing.
The company which bought the chains from a UK supplier has initiated a requirement for all chains purchased to be tested to Safe Working Limit.

All chains recieved from this supplier were immediately placed in quarantine and returned to the supplier, which was instructed to perform an investigation as to why the equipment failed and all similar equipment is recalled awaiting the investigation and report.

The UK based sub-supplier does not manufacture the chain but acts as an agent on behalf of  manufacturers in China, some of whom  do not hold export licences. They have immediately withdrawn all chain from sale supplied by this company, additionally cancelled all orders with this agent and will continue to request the manufacturers details but more importantly the reason for failure.