PSA Releases DWH Recs For NCS

 Accident, explosion, fire, offshore  Comments Off on PSA Releases DWH Recs For NCS
Jun 092011
 

PSA looks at lessons from the Deepwater Horizon tragedy

Preliminary conclusions by Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority Norway and action recommended after the Deepwater Horizon accident were presented to the Safety Forum’s annual conference on 9 June.

These assessments and recommendations build on the investigation reports published so far, as well as on a number of assessments by various professional bodies and various national and international processes.

The PSA will continue to keep a close eye on the many processes and activities launched after the accident in April 2010, and which are still under way.

This means that final conclusions and recommendations for action (amendments to the Norwegian regulations and so forth) have yet to be produced by the PSA.

An English summary of the PSA’s report, with its assessments and recommendations, is available for download (see the right-hand margin). The full report will be published next week in Norwegian only.

On the PSA’s follow-up
A project team was established by the PSA on 7 May 2010 following the disaster with the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

The overall goal of this work has been systematise and assess experience from and investigation of the major accident so that they can contribute to learning and improvement on the NCS.

Summary: The Deepwater Horizon accident – assessments and recommendations for the Norwegian petroleum industy

The Deepwater Horizon – the PSA’s follow-up

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Vermilion 380 A Platform Fire: Corroded Tube Led To Fire

 Accident, Accident report, fire, offshore  Comments Off on Vermilion 380 A Platform Fire: Corroded Tube Led To Fire
May 292011
 

Ageing, poorly maintained equipment failed, resulting in a fire and loss of power that left crew without the means to fight it.

When a 30-year-old corroded fire tube collapsed on Mariner Energy’s Vermilion 380 A Platform and started a fire, electrical power was lost to firepumps leaving the 13-member crew without a firewater system. Ultimately, the crew was forced to evacuate the platform, and all were later transported to safety.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)has released the findings of its investigation into a fire that occurred Sept. 2, 2010, on Mariner Energy Inc.’s, Vermilion 380 A oil and natural gas production platform located approximately 102 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Continue reading »

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Transocean Deepwater Horizon – Final Report

 Accident, Accident report, explosion, fire, offshore  Comments Off on Transocean Deepwater Horizon – Final Report
Feb 202011
 

Poor management decisions and questionable relationships lead to the Transocean Deepwater Horizon fire and explosion in which 11 died, says the Presidential National Oil Spill Commission which has has released details of the series of engineering and management mistakes by those responsible for the drilling operations, including BP, Halliburton, and Transocean.

On January 11th, the Commission released its final report to the President, Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling, which included a chapter on the well blowout and rig explosion. That chapter summarized the results of the investigation by the Commission’s Chief Counsel, Fred Bartlit, and his investigative team into the causes of the Macondo well blow out and Deepwater Horizon rig explosion. Fred Bartlit is widely regarded as one of America’s leading trial lawyers, while he also worked with dui lawyers specialist from a site that you can navigate here. He played a major role in investigating the Piper Alpha North Sea Oil Platform disaster in 1989.

Says the commission: “The Chief Counsel is issuing this additional report to provide the American public, policymakers, and industry with the fullest possible account of the investigation into the causes of the well blowout which was summarized in the Commission’s report. The Chief Counsel’s investigative team unearthed and analyzed far more information than could have been included in the Commission’s report”. Continue reading »

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No Surprises In Transocean Deepwater Report

 Accident, Accident report, explosion, fatality, fire, offshore  Comments Off on No Surprises In Transocean Deepwater Report
Jan 052011
 

There will be no surprises when the US Presidential National Oil Spill Commission releases its report into the tragedy of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon in April 2010. An advanced copy of the report shows that management, communications and systemic issues across threes or more companies caused the incident.

An independent investigation is being conducted by the Chemical Safety Board.

BBC News quotes a BP statement that the company is working with regulators “to ensure the lessons learned from Macondo lead to improvements in operations and contractor services in deepwater drilling”

Transocean, which owned the Deepwater Horizon says that it bears no responsibility for the incident.

The  today is releasing in advance the chapter from its upcoming full report that contains the key findings from its extensive investigation into the causes of the blowout of BP’s Macondo well.
On April 20, 2010, that disaster killed 11 workers, seriously injured many others, and spewed uncontrolled over four million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months, creating the largest oil spill ever in American waters.

Among the findings from the chapter:
“The well blew out because a number of separate risk factors, oversights, and outright mistakes combined to overwhelm the safeguards meant to prevent just such an event from happening. But most of the mistakes and oversights at Macondo can be traced back to a single overarching failure—a failure of management. Better management by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean would almost certainly have prevented the blowout by improving the ability of individuals involved to identify the risks they faced, and to properly evaluate, communicate, and address them.” Continue reading »

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Chemical Tanker Taken Off Somalia

 cruises line,, engine room, offshore, piracy, pirates  Comments Off on Chemical Tanker Taken Off Somalia
Nov 112010
 
MV Hannibal II

MV Hannibal II

Early this morning, the MV Hannibal II, a Panamanian-flagged vessel, was pirated whilst on route from Malaysia to Suez.

The 24,105 tonne chemical tanker was carrying vegetable oils from Pasir Gudang to Suez at the time.  The master of the vessel reported that he had been attacked and boarded by pirates in an area some 860 nautical miles East of The Horn of Africa which is considerably closer to India than it is to Somalia.

The MV Hannibal II has a total of 31 crew on board.  This number consists of 23 Tunisians, 4 Filipinos, 1 Croatian, 1 Georgian, 1 Russian and 1 Moroccan.

EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). EU NAVFOR also protects vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, deters and disrupts piracy. EU NAVFOR finally monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

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Engine Room Fire On ERRV

 engine room, fire, offshore  Comments Off on Engine Room Fire On ERRV
Nov 092010
 

Ocean Sun

At 03:49 Tuesday, Humber Coastguard was alerted to a fire in the engine room of the gas platform standby vessel Ocean Sun. The vessel is 70 nautical miles ENE of Flamborough Head with gale force 8, easterly winds on scene.

The vessel confirmed that the fire had been extinguished at 03:52hrs and had regained power to one engine. However, because of the vital role the standby vessel plays to the gas rig, arrangements are underway to have the vessel replaced by another standby vessel. It is currently thought that it will take at least 18 hours for a relief vessel to arrive.

The 58 metre Ocean Sun is standing by the jack-up rig Ensco 72. The vessel has 12 persons on board. Humber Coastguard is broadcasting Pan Alerts to inform vessels approaching the area of the situation and is putting contingency plans in place to keep the crew and vessel safe until the relief boat arrives. Continue reading »

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Fire On The Horizon

 explosion, fire, maritime safety, offshore  Comments Off on Fire On The Horizon
Sep 132010
 


Fire On The Horizon book CoverInevitably the Deepwater Horizon tragedy will produce a whole sludge of instant books, most with the accent on F*%ks News-style polemics but one will certainly stand out from the crowd: Fire On The Horizon by fellow blogista John Konrad of gCaptain and Tom Schroder.

John has just formally announced the book: “We are proud to announce that gCaptain’s founder and editor in chief, John Konrad, got a book deal! The upcoming book titled Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster is being published by HarperCollins publisher David Hirshey and co-written with help from the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tom Shroder.

Continue reading »

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Delving Into Deepwater – The Campbell Interview

 explosion, fire, maritime safety, offshore, oil spill  Comments Off on Delving Into Deepwater – The Campbell Interview
Jul 162010
 
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US Refused The Lessons Of Piper Alpha

It will probably be the last quarter of 2010 when the full facts about the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. For reasons of pragmatism it is likely that much will remain unknown until after the relief wells have killed the flow. In would be enormously unwise too far right now but Bill Campbell, retired Shell International Health and Safety Group auditor, believes that such a disaster would probably not have happened in UK waters. Here is his interview with Jessica Livingston of the offshore website Oil And Gas IQ, with Ms. Livingston’s permission and thank to Raymond Holroyd for making it possible.

At the end of the day, eleven men are dead and families are grieving. That awful sacrifice will not best served by “kicking butt” to satisfy the needs of the soundbite or pandering to opportunistic congressional carpetbaggers but by learning the lessons of the this tragedy and demolishing the isolationist attitudes towards safety that regarded the lessons of Piper Alpha as irrelevant to the United States.

[ powerpress]

Delving Into Deepwater – Before The Blow-Out

Delving Into Deepwater – Tolerable Risks?

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Delving Into Deepwater – Before The Blow-Out

 explosion, fatality, fire, maritime safety, offshore, oil, oil pollution, oil spill, Pollution  Comments Off on Delving Into Deepwater – Before The Blow-Out
Jul 092010
 
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US Refused The Lessons Of Piper Alpha

In this second article, originally posted as part of a post on the Step Change In Safety website, former Shell International Health and Safety Group auditor Bill Campbell B.Sc. MIET C.Eng. looks at how often blowouts occur and its relevance to Deepwater Horizon tragedy.

BIG OIL: BEFORE THE SPILL

This analysis takes information from the CNN programme broadcast on Sunday 4th of July in the UK, that is Big Oil: Beyond the Spill. Data on blowouts, severity and frequency is taken from variety of websites such as Wikipedia and Publickeye.blogspot.com

Introduction

In 2008, according to CNN, over 85 energy companies got together in the Superdome in New Orleans and forked out $3.5 billion into the US treasury funds for leases in deep and ultra deepwater. The economics of any investment are dependent on getting a quick return on capital invested so there was always going to be a demand to drill in deepwater to recover the expenditure.

When the US industry put forward the case to the US president et al for drilling in deepwater in the Gulf they are quoted as saying blowouts are rare events. They were confident they could drill in deepwater safely.

Rare events by definition are few and far between, uncommon, unusual or exceptional. But world-wide blowouts have occurred regularly and since 1955 there has been 44 with a mean time between blowouts in this 55 year period of only 15 months. And the consequences of these blowouts have often been catastrophic.

So the argument put forward by Big Oil was entirely flawed because the risks of drilling are the product of the probability that a blowout will happen and the consequences that follow from that undesirable event.

So if the event is credible, and the uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons during drilling is a credible event on a Drill Rig, then the risks are high, and maybe unacceptably so.

So if the US President had been presented with this data by Big Oil including the International Association of Drilling Contractors (Houston). and all those other congressmen and senators lobbying for Drill baby Drill then he might have had a more balanced perspective.

This is all the more of a concern for before the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Safety Board (CBS) has put pen to paper, and many months before the World fully understands the root cause of the Deepwater Horizon, Big Oil is pressurising to recommence drilling in deepwater. The US public need to be made aware that to do so, without a full understanding of the root causes, would be dangerous and could lead to a repeat of disaster still unfolding.

What does history tell us world-wide?

Detail is provided in the 4 tables overleaf.

World-wide since 1955 and prior to Deepwater Horizon there have been 44 notable blowout events causing 79 deaths, with significant loss of assets and one event in 1979 causing massive pollution. In this period 55 year 1955 – 2010 the mean time between blowouts was 15 months.

What does history tell us about the Gulf of Mexico?

In the 37year period 1964 – 2001 there were 10 blowouts or 23% of the world-wide events. This resulted in 27 deaths or 34% of the deaths world-wide. One event, the blowout on the Semi-submersible Sedco 135F caused pollution into the Gulf of an estimated 455 to 480,000 tonnes of oil.

In the 46 year period 1964 – 2010, including the Deepwater Horizon there has been 11 blowouts, resulting in an additional 11 deaths and pollution estimated on 4th July last of between 333 – 572,000 tonnes of oil.

By comparison in the UK North Sea there has been two blowouts, one in 1977 on a fixed installation, and one in 1988 on a Semi-submersible with one fatality over the 55 years period from 1955 to 2010.

Conclusion

By any definition therefore blowouts are not rare events!

Risk analysis used in the UK post Piper Alpha consider that a safe haven, or Temporary Refuge on an offshore installation should demonstrate by design that its integrity is not threatened by credible events on the installation less than once per 1000 years.

That is one side of the equation. But in any case, a rare event, under any sophisticated quantitative or qualitative analysis, the type of analysis that is mandatory in a UK Offshore Safety Case, would consider risks are tolerable if between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 years depending upon the event and its potential consequences.

This is a far cry from what the historic data shows in in the Gulf of Mexico on average 1 in 3.7 years frequency for Blowouts over the 37 year period from 1964 to 2001 and 1 in 4.2 years taken into account the Deepwater Horizon ongoing disaster.

For the industry to say therefore that blowouts could be discounted from the decision to drill into deepwater formations because they were rare events is tantamount to deception. Is it not in the public interest in the US that the other side of this sad story is told.

Bill Campbell B.Sc. MIET C.Eng.

TABLE1: WORLDWIDE BLOWOUTS BY RIG TYPE OVER 52 YEAR PERIOD 1955 – 2007

RIG TYPE NUMBER OF BLOWOUTS
JACKUP 25
SEMI- SUBMERSIBLE 9
DRILL SHIPS AND BARGES 9
FIXED INSTALLATIONS 1
TOTALS 44

COMMENTS:

ALL THESE EVENTS IN WHAT IS CURRENTLY TERMED SHALLOW WATER, LESS THAN 500 FT, BLOWOUT FREQUENCY OVER THIS PERIOD CIRCA 14 MONTHS

TABLE 2: GULF OF MEXICO BLOWOUT DISTRIBUTION OVER 37 YEAR PERIOD 1964 – 2001

YEAR NUMBER CONSEQUENCE
1964 1 DRILL BARGE BLOWOUT – VESSEL CAPSIZED, 22 KILLED
1969 1 SEMI-SUBMERSIBLE BLOWOUT
1972 1 JACKUP BLOWOUT
1975 1 JACKUP BLOWOUT
1979 1 JACKUP BLOWOUT
1979 1 SEMI-SUBMERSIBLE BLOWOUT AND FIRE CAUSING MASSIVE POLLUTION
1980 1 JACKUP BLOWOUT AND FIRE, 5 KILLED
1980 1 JACKUP BLOWOUT
1981 1 SEMI-SUBMERSIBLE BLOWOUT AND FIRE
2001 1 JACKUP GAS BLOWOUT AND FIRE

COMMENTS:

ALL THESE EVENTS IN WHAT IS CURRENTLY TERMED SHALLOW WATER, LESS THAN 500 FT, BLOWOUT FREQUENCY OVER THIS PERIOD CIRCA 3.7 YEARS, MAXIMUM PERIOD BETWEEN BLOWOUTS 20 YEARS, MINIMUM PERIOD 6 MONTHS

TABLE 3; GULF OF MEXICO – DETAILED DATA ON BLOWOUTS PRIOR TO DEEPWATER HORIZON

37 year period 1964 – 2001

Year and Rig Event Fatalities
1964 CP Baker Drill Barge Blowout and vessel capsized 22
1969 Rimrick Tidelands Semi-Submersible Blowout 0
1972 J Storm 11 Jackup Blowout 0
1975 J Storm 11 Jackup Blowout 0
1979 Salenergy 11 Jackup Blowout 0
1979 SEDCO 135F Blowout & explosion followed by fire with massive pollution from blowout on Ixtoc 1 well, took 9 months to stop flow – Est. pollution into Gulf of Mexico 455 – 480,000 tonnes 0
1980 – Ocean King Blowout and fire 5
1980 – Marlin 14 Blowout 0
1981 – Penrod 50 Blowout and fire 0
2001 – ENSCO 51 Blowout and fire 0
10 blowouts or 1 every 3.7 years 4 fires out of 10 events, 1 explosion 27

GULF OF MEXICO – HISTORICAL DATA on BLOWOUTS INCLUDING DEEPWATER HORIZON

46 year period 1964 – 2010

Year and Rig Event Fatalities
1964 CP Baker Drill Barge Blowout and vessel capsized 22
1969 Rimrick Tidelands Semi-Submersible Blowout 0
1972 J Storm 11 Jackup Blowout 0
1975 J Storm 11 Jackup Blowout 0
1979 Salenergy 11 Jackup Blowout 0
1979 SEDCO 135F Blowout & explosion followed by fire with massive pollution from blowout on Ixtoc 1 well, took 9 months to stop flow – Est. pollution into Gulf of Mexico 455 – 480,000 tonnes 0
1980 – Ocean King Blowout and fire 5
1980 – Marlin 14 Blowout 0
1981 – Penrod 50 Blowout and fire 0
2001 – ENSCO 51 Blowout and fire 0
2010 – Deepwater Horizon Blowout and explosion followed by fire – the first blowout in ultra deepwater 5000 ft plus with subsurface BOP installed

Est. pollution as of 4th July 2010 is 333 – 572,000 Tonnes

11
11 blowouts or 1 every 4.2 years 5 fires out of 11 events, 2 explosion 38
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