Blowout and Subsequent Fire On Offshore Platform – Investigation Report

This incident took place almost a decade ago and refers to a rig blowout and the subsequent fire that broke on the platform. Initially the Rig was conducting directional drilling operations. After a stand being pulled the well began flowing at an increasing rate. The annular diverter element was closed and the well was put into the diverter system. The alarm was sounded to evacuate the Rig and Platform. After a while the end of the port diverter pipe blew off and an uncontrolled flow of gas, water, sand, and hydrocarbons caught fire. The fire from the uncontrolled flow out of the diverter was spread on the Rig floor.

2013.12.23 - Blowout and Subsequent Fire On Offshore Platform - Investigation Report Figure 1

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A Brief History of US Offshore Oil Drilling

The BP Deepwater Horizon explosion in April 2010 occurred after a dramatic, three-decade-long reconfiguration of how the United States and several other nations drill for oil. Technology, law, and geology pushed oil exploration farther from U.S. shores, as land-based exploration became less fruitful, and the global demand for energy ramped up. Oil production off American coasts began well over a century ago, but the move into deepwater and ultra-deepwater is a relatively recent phenomenon. This post presents a brief history of offshore oil drilling based on a relevant staff working paper by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

2013.09.03 - A Brief History of Offshore Oil Drilling Figure 1

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Fatal Injuries in Offshore Oil and Gas Operations US 2003–2010

During 2003–2010, the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry (onshore and offshore, combined) had a collective fatality rate seven times higher than for all U.S. workers (27.1 versus 3.8 deaths per 100,000 workers). The 11 lives lost in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion provide a reminder of the hazards involved in offshore drilling. To identify risk factors to offshore oil and gas extraction workers, US CDC analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), a comprehensive database of fatal work injuries, for the period 2003–2010. The following findings of US CDC report describe the results of that analysis, which found that 128 fatalities in activities related to offshore oil and gas operations occurred during this period. Transportation events were the leading cause (65 [51%]); the majority of these involved aircraft (49 [75%]). Nearly one fourth (31 [24%]) of the fatalities occurred among workers whose occupations were classified as “transportation and material moving”.

2013.07.09 - Fatal Injuries in Offshore Oil and Gas Operations US 2003–2010 Figure 1

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Offshore Well Blowout – Investigation Report

A blowout occurred on a Well during the period from May 9 to May 18, 2001, after the 13⅜–inch surface casing was cemented. The mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) was cantilevered over “Platform A.” The plan called for the well to be directionally drilled with a drift angle of approximately 55 degrees. On May 8, 2001, after the 13⅜-inch surface casing was cemented, a slight flow was noted coming from the annulus between the surface casing and the 18⅝-inch conductor casing. The diverter was closed and pressure started increasing on the annulus. Valves and piping were rigged up to the 18⅝-inch A section to permit monitoring of pressure and transport of fluids to and from the annulus. Throughout the night of May 8 and through 0730 hrs on May 10, unsuccessful attempts were made to bleed off the annular pressure.

2013.04.15 - Offshore Well Blowout Figure 1

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Servicing Oil Rigs in the North Sea

BSEE Notification to Black Elk Regarding Safety Measures

During November the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued a latter notifying Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC (Black Elk) that the company must take immediate steps to improve its safety performance on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). According to BSEE the notification to Black Elk was the result of unacceptable safety performance following numerous incidents involving Black Elk facilities. BSEE gave specific instructions to Black Elk regarding corrective actions that the company should take in order to safety measures up to BSEE standards.

2012.12.11 - BSEE Notification to Black Elk Regarding Safety Measures

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Offshore Oil Platforms

Deepwater Horizon Documentary

BP Pleads Guilty to Charges Regarding the Deepwater Horizon Incident

Over a week ago Attorney General Eric Holder announced that BP has agreed to plead guilty to felony manslaughter, environmental crimes and obstruction of Congress and pay a record $4 billion in criminal fines and penalties for its conduct leading to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and caused the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. The 14-count information, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana, charges BP with 11 counts of felony manslaughter, one count of felony obstruction of Congress, and violations of the Clean Water and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts.

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