World’s Biggest Oil Rig Is Sinking

Sunday, March 18, 2001
The world's biggest offshore oil rig, hit by blasts that apparently killed 10 people, may sink in the next two days, the rig's Brazilian owners said on Friday, raising fears of environmental damage. With chances of saving the listing rig fading, the president of state oil company Petrobras Henri Philippe Reichstul also said the possibility of finding any of nine missing workers alive after Thursday's blasts was "very remote." "Petrobras is in mourning," he said. So far one person has been confirmed dead after three powerful blasts, whose cause is unknown, rocked the rig with 175 workers aboard. Off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, the giant 40-story rig's deck is now dipping into the water. If it sinks and damages shutters of underwater wells, it could cause Brazil's worst environmental catastrophe, according to engineers. Petrobras, which has experienced environmental disasters over the last few years, said it had five ships around the rig able to contain a potential spill. "The prospects of stabilizing the platform are diminishing," Reichstul said, adding that the company, Brazil's biggest, was doing everything possible to save the rig. Workers were pumping nitrogen into the damaged hull of the platform to keep it afloat. The accident has jeopardized Petrobras' oil production goals. The rig is insured for $500 million. "If the rig sinks there is the distinct possibility that some or all of the 21 pipelines could rupture," said Argemio Pertence, director of the Association of Engineers who worked for Petrobras for 25 years. "It would be a catastrophe." He said that if it does not sink there is virtually no risk of environmental damage. No spills have been reported so far. The P-36 rig could produce up to 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day, making it the world's biggest platform, but after starting operations last year, it was only pumping out 80,000 barrels daily, or 5 percent of Brazil's total output. For their part, environmentalists said they were not convinced by company assurances that damage could be limited. "Our worry is that the oil will head to the coast," said Delcio Rodrigues of Greenpeace. The rig is 78 miles (125 km) off the shore of Rio state and if the oil were to drift toward land it would contaminate a precious mangrove region. One worker was in a hospital with severe burns and doctors described his condition as "very serious" on Friday. – (Reuters)
Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

NAVCENT Commander Recognizes Journey of Hope Sailors

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Adm. John. W. Miller, recognized the accomplishments of three special-needs sailors from the Kuwaiti ship,

NYK Holds 8th Environmental Management Conference

NYK welcomed about 60 environmental supervisors from 47 NYK Group companies to the group’s annual Environmental Management Conference in Tokyo. NYK holds this

W&O, LESER Partner to Deliver Safety Relief Valves

W&O, a global supplier to the marine and upstream oil and gas markets for pipe, valves and fittings, valve automation and engineered solutions, has partnered with

Offshore

Wärtsilä Integrated Solutions for Maersk's AHTS Vessels

A new series of six Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessels to be built at the Kleven Verft AS in Norway for the Danish based Maersk Supply Service A/S - part of the A.

Fourth Rig Delivered to Perforadora Central

Keppel AmFELS LLC, a wholly owned US subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered the jackup rig, Coatzacoalcos, to Mexico’s Central Panuco S.

Woodside to Pick up Moroccan Acreage

Woodside advises that it has entered into a contract for an exclusive Reconnaissance Licence (RL) with the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines, the

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1611 sec (6 req/sec)