Delving Into Deepwater – Tolerable Risks?

 explosion, fatality, fire, maritime safety, offshore  Comments Off on Delving Into Deepwater – Tolerable Risks?
Jul 072010


US Refused The Lessons Of Piper Alpha

A full understanding of how the Deepwater Horizon explosion came about and the many failures of omission and commission must wait for the publication of the belatedly-launched Chemical Safety Board investigation. What is clear is that the US learned little from the Piper Alpha disaster, which had such an impact in Europe.

Had those lessons been learned, 11 workers may have been alive today, working on a rig which, on the day of its destruction, was celebrating a safety record.

That said, and with the necessary caveat regarding eyewitness testimony and the reliability of memory under and after traumatic incidents, MAC is providing the following analysis by Bill Campbell B.Sc. MIET C.Eng. retired Shell International Health and Safety Group auditor. It was original made available on the Step Change in Safety website.

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Emergency Waiver to the Jones Act Proposed

 explosion, fire, offshore, oil, oil pollution, oil spill  Comments Off on Emergency Waiver to the Jones Act Proposed
Jun 212010

Hutchison PortraitWASHINGTON, DC Republican US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison from Texas has calling for an emergency waiver of the Jones Act, which requires many foreign vessels to go through a lengthy bureaucratic approval process in order to assist with the oil cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico. Hutchison, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said she will introduce legislation to temporarily waive the Jones Act to allow foreign marine vessels to help with the cleanup. This extended waiver would be applied for a period of time that is necessary to respond and restore the waters of the Gulf.

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Montara Inquiry Report

 Accident, Accident report, fire, offshore  Comments Off on Montara Inquiry Report
Jun 202010

imageFellow Blogista Denis Bryant brought this press release from Australia’s Minister for Resources and Energy to MAC’s attention and makes the wry comment: “Except for the difference in water depth, the Montara incident bears many similarities to the Gulf of Mexico incident. History repeats itself so that we can make the same mistake more than once.

The Australian Government hasreceived the findings of the Montara Commission of Inquiry into the uncontrolled oil and gas release from the Montara Wellhead Platform, which occurred from 21 August to 3 November 2009.

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Look Again At The Well From Hell

 Accident, explosion, fire, offshore, offshore, oil, oil pollution, oil spill, Sinking  Comments Off on Look Again At The Well From Hell
May 242010

Discoverer Explorer Flares off gas from the GoM leak.

With self-serving political posturing leaking in the Gulf of Mexico at several million barrels per press release it is easy to overlook some of the small quiet, reasonable voices. Among those MAC would note in particular OPED: A Second, Slower Look at the Well from Hell by Jeff Mudgett of Maritime Executive. It’s a well-thought through read on the situation and some inescapable conclusions for the long-tern future of the spill.

Read it here

Deepwater Horizon – US Coast Guard Establishes Safety Zone

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May 112010

gom Effective 11 May 2010 the US Coast Guard has established a safety zone around the riser for the Deepwater Horizon, the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), at Mississippi Canyon 252 in the Outer Continental Shelf where oil response efforts are taking place on the water’s surface and subsurface. The safety zone is needed to protect personnel involved in oil pollution response efforts. Placing a safety zone around the riser will significantly  reduce the threat of collisions, oil spills and releases of natural gas and thereby protect the safety of life, property and the environment.

The provisions of this temporary final rule are as follows:

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Deepwater Horizon – Saviours Beware

 Accident, explosion, fire, maritime safety, offshore, offshore  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon – Saviours Beware
Apr 292010

Vessels responding to situations like that of Deepwater Horizon may encounter unexpected hazards with which they are unfamiliar and which are not immediately apparent.

A respondent on the gCaptain forum, Nomad, warns: “For any mariners responding to distress calls in circumstances such as this, it’s a good idea to stop – look – listen – before approaching too close. In this specific case, the venting hydrocarbons were ablaze, but in some cases there is no fire, just an uncontrolled flow. The presence of high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas is always a consideration, even with oil blowouts as there is often a gas component to the reservoir fluid.”

Hydrogen Sulphide, H2S, dangers are well known to offshore workers and vessels servicing them are usually equipped with H2S meters and alarms but others, such as fishing vessels will not. H2S is characterised by a ‘rotten eggs’ smell but the gas itself can disable the sense of smell in higher concentrations.

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2010 Offshore Industry Safety Awards Postponed

 Accident, explosion, fire, maritime safety, offshore, offshore  Comments Off on 2010 Offshore Industry Safety Awards Postponed
Apr 282010

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced today that the 2010 Annual Industry SAFE Awards Luncheon scheduled for May 3, 2010 at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas has been postponed.

The ongoing situation with the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling accident has caused the MMS to dedicate considerable resources to the successful resolution of this event, which will conflict with holding this ceremony next week.

The MMS will announce how the agency will proceed with the 2010 SAFE Award program during the next several weeks. The MMS apologizes for any inconvenience and thanks the organizers of the OTC for their understanding of our current situation.

Deepwater Horizon SitRep

 explosion, fire, maritime safety, offshore  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon SitRep
Apr 272010

NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of the Gulf of Mexico on April 25, 2010 using its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument. ocean. Under unique viewing conditions, oil slicks can become visible in photo-like images, but usually, radar imagery is needed to clearly see a spill from space.

Oil leaking from the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon is expected to reach the US coast sometime during the coming weekend. Most appears to be little more than surface sheen with little depth.

Attempts by several remotely operated vehicles, ROVs, have so far failed to close the Blow Out Preventer and oil continues to leak at about 1,000 barrels a day. Additional options are still being developed to trigger the BOP.

Two drillships, Transocean’s Development Driller 3 and Discoverer Enterprise are moving into position to drill relief wells and stop the leaks. Continue reading »