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 September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Ocean Installer Enters Australian O&G Market

Ocean Installer’s said that it has established office in Perth, Australia to meet demand for subsea construction services.  “This is the beginning of our presence

Nordic Wins with Noble

Nordic Maritime, a leading offshore service operator, today announced a five year time charter for its DP2 IMR Subsea vessel, Mokul Nordic, which has been awarded by Noble Energy,

EUCAP Nestor Train 30 Somali Coast Guards

On 21 October, the European Union’s Maritime Capacity Building Mission in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP Nestor) celebrated the successful completion of a two month Mentoring,

Offshore

Ocean Installer Enters Australian O&G Market

Ocean Installer’s said that it has established office in Perth, Australia to meet demand for subsea construction services.  “This is the beginning of our presence

Nordic Wins with Noble

Nordic Maritime, a leading offshore service operator, today announced a five year time charter for its DP2 IMR Subsea vessel, Mokul Nordic, which has been awarded by Noble Energy,

Pemex Suspends Eviction of Workers in Campeche

Due to the behavior shown by the low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico, whose career was diverted in the last hours, the Technical Analysis Group Emergency

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.1887 sec (5 req/sec)