North Sea Accommodation Rig Evacuated
Damaged ballast tank on 'Floatel Superior' in Norwegian Sea leads to evacuation of 374 personnel due to water ingress, list.
The Floatel Superior is operated by Floatel International on hire to Statoil (STO) and is situated close by the Njord A platform, although it was diconnected from the platform when the incident ocurred.
A hole, believed to be caused by an anchor, was discovered in the rig’s ballast tank causing an ingress of water that caused a 3-4 degree list that was speedily rectified and rig stability was re-established, but meanwhile personnel mustered at the lifeboat stations to be evacuated by helicopter.
Statoil’s emergency response organisation was mobilised and a personnel reception centre was set up in Kristiansund. Six helicopters and an emergency response vessel were deployed in order to assist the rig. In addition, an anchor handling vessel is to be dispatched to inspect the damage. The rig will then be towed to in for repairs.
Later Statoil said that all personnel had been evacuated (leaving 48 on board tasked with emergency duties) by three helicopters operating a shuttle service between the rig and the Njord A platform, later to be landed in Kristiansund.
A planned maintenance shutdown is currently being carried out on Njord A that involves the upgrading of the process plant and other projects. No processing or drilling is therefore taking place there.