Barents Sea Drill Rig Stability Incident to be Investigated

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) will investigate the recent stability incident on the mobile rig 'Scarabeo 8'.

Scarabeo 8 is a semi-submersible drilling facility owned by Saipem SpA Norwegian Branch (Saipem). The facility is currently engaged in exploration drilling for Eni Norge on well 7220/10 in the Barents Sea.

Just after 15:00 hours on Tuesday, 4 September, the Scarabeo 8 developed a 5.7-degree list due to unintentional filling of a ballast tank. The incident triggered an alarm and mustering of personnel. There were 140 people on board when the incident occurred.The situation was normalised during the course of an hour.

Preliminary findings indicate that the incident was caused by incorrect operation of equipment.

The incident did not entail major accident risk; however, the PSA takes a serious view of what happened.

The PSA has closely monitored the operating company Eni and rig owner Saipem in the period following the incident. On Monday, 10 September, the PSA met with the responsible companies in order to obtain more information about the course of events and further actions.

Based on the information that emerged in this meeting, the PSA has now decided to initiate an investigation of the incident. The investigation will focus on Saipem’s management of capacity and competence.

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