Pacific Drilling Keeps on Drilling
None of Pacific Drillings ultra-deepwater drillships are affected by a recent BSEE safety alert.
Concerning the recent U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) safety alert regarding GE connectors and bolts, the company reports that none of Pacific Drilling’s rigs are covered by the directive to suspend operations. However, Pacific Drilling is proactively inspecting the Vetco ExF H-4 LMRP connector bolts on each of its rigs as operations allow. The company has the necessary spare bolts to address any issues detected during inspection. Currently, all of the company’s rigs are operating normally, and no direct revenue implications are expected as a result of this directive.
The January 29, 2013, BSEE Safety Alert to operators of certain offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico directed them to secure current well operations and retrieve the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) and/or Blowout Preventer (BOP).
The operators are to suspend operations until the existing bolts on the LMRP connector/wellhead connector have been changed out with bolts that have been certified by an independent third-party to be in compliance with recommended heat treatment practices or the exiting bolts have been examined and certified by an independent third-party that they are fit for purpose.
This action was taken after review of a pollution incident involving the discharge of synthetic base mud (SBM) into the water due to a loss of integrity of a LMRP H-4 connector