Archive for the ‘accidents’ Category

15 years ago the Minerals Management Service pushed hard for better offshore medevac capabilities. Harlan King, the father of an offshore worker whose injuries were exacerbated by the delayed medical response, was the main impetus behind this effort. The industry responded favorably and Mr. King, BP, and Petroleum Helicopters Inc received Offshore Leadership Awards in 2009 for their initiatives. This 2009 article describes PHI’s dedicated medevac capabilities at the time.

The number of “non-occupational” fatalities (at least 6) at US OCS facilities in 2021 suggests that medical care and evacuation capabilities are once again a concern. BSEE is therefore applauded for their medical evacuation assessment initiative. Their recent presentation is attached.

BSEE’s presentation describes 6 more “non-operational” fatalities in 2022, and raises concerns about CPR training deficiencies, evacuation challenges posed by stairways, and the absence of medics at some facilities. BSEE’s findings (pages 14-21 of the presentation) are eye-opening and merit the attention of all operators, contractors, and others interested in offshore facility safety.

While historical data on health-related OCS fatalities are not readily available, 12 such fatalities over the past 2 years seems high relative to past experience, particularly given that the total number of hours worked has declined by more than 50% since 2011. As suggested in our 2 February post, further investigation into this disturbing trend is warranted. Given the sensitivity of the topic, it would seem best for the Coast Guard and BSEE, with appropriate medical assistance, to conduct this review.

Read Full Post »

Remembering the 123 offshore workers who lost their lives on this day in 1980 🙏

Photo: Norwegian Petroleum Museum

Read Full Post »

Per yesterday’s post, below are US OCS fatality data from a 2014 presentation. Ten year intervals were selected for 1975-2004. The longer 1953-1974 era was selected so the activity indicators (well starts and production) would be comparable with the next 3 intervals. The last interval (2005-2013) was limited because the presentation was prepared in 2014.

Fire/explosion fatalities exceeded fall/struck fatalities only in the first interval (1953-1974). As one would expect, the fire/explosion deaths were associated with a limited number of better known incidents (e.g. Main Pass 41, Bay Marchand, Macondo). While the overall trend is favorable, fall/struck incidents and helicopter fatalities at offshore platforms have proven to be more chronic.

I hope to update these data in the not too distant future.




Read Full Post »

The most common causes of offshore fatalities and serious injuries, falls and being struck by equipment, receive little media attention because there is no blowout, oil spill, or fire. However, these are often the most difficult types of incidents to understand and prevent. Human and organizational factors predominate, and prevention is dependent on a strong culture that emphasizes worker engagement, awareness, teamwork and mutual support, effective training and employee development, risk assessment at the job, facility, company, and industry levels, stop-work authority, innovation, and continuous improvement.

This new BSEE Safety Alert addresses such a fatal incident on the Pacific Khamsin drilling rig, and makes recommendations that have widespread applicability.

Incident summary:

While unlatching the lower Marine Riser Package from the Blowout Preventor in preparation for ship relocation, a crewmember was lifted into the air after being struck by a hydraulic torque wrench (HTW), hitting a riser clamp approximately six feet above the elevated work deck before falling to the rig floor. The crew member was given first aid and transported to the drillship’s hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.

In an upcoming post, BOE will provide historical fatality data by cause and operations category.

Read Full Post »

Presentations from the January 2023 HSAC meeting have now been posted. None of the presentations addresses the tragic crash in the Gulf of Mexico on 29 December. This is understandable given the ongoing investigation.

Attached is an update from the Helideck Committee which also addresses wind farm issues.

Read Full Post »

A group of international shipping companies and their subsidiaries tentatively agreed Wednesday to pay $96.5 million to Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp. to dismiss one of the last remaining lawsuits over the oil spill, which sent at least 25,000 gallons of crude into the waters off Huntington Beach in October 2021.

LA Times
MSC Danit and Beijing were ID’d by Sky Truth as likely dragging anchors over the damaged Beta Unit pipeline

Although the Coast Guard’s investigation report has yet to be published, available information suggests that the pipeline was well maintained and that Amplify’s Beta Unit facilities had a good safety and compliance record. Absent the anchor dragging captured in the above image, a spill would have been highly unlikely. The large settlement in favor of Amplify is therefore quite understandable.

Read Full Post »

Whoever blew up the Nord Stream pipelines was not entirely successful in that one of the Nord Stream 2 lines was apparently undamaged. What is next for that line? Will the two Nord Stream 1 and the other Nord Stream 2 pipelines be repaired?

Read Full Post »

An international regulatory colleague brought this puzzling RigZone article to my attention. Quotes:

“From one perspective, one can look at the overall absence of risk – from this perspective, we can easily say that either the United Kingdom’s North Sea or Canada’s Nova Scotian continental shelf is the safest region for offshore oil and gas operations right now,” Robak told Rigzone.

“Canada’s offshore industry accounts for approximately one million barrels per day, and its geographic location along the Nova Scotian continental shelf has been a benefit in that there is little to no risk to its continued operation on a day-to-day basis,” Robak said.


Scotian shelf

Read Full Post »

MSC Danit and Beijing were ID’d by Sky Truth as likely dragging anchors over the damaged Beta Unit pipeline

Per the LA Times, companies linked to the cargo ships accused of dragging anchors over Amplify Energy’s pipeline have agreed to pay $45 million to settle lawsuits. The ships were identified by Sky Truth (see above image) shortly after the spill (October 1, 2021).

Meanwhile, Amplify is suing the vessel owners for damaging the pipeline and failing to notify the authorities after the damage occurred. Amplify would seem to have a good case given that inspection reports indicate that the pipeline was in good shape prior to the anchor damage and that the Beta Unit platforms had a good safety and compliance record.

Finally, when will we see the investigation report for this spill? It has now been nearly 17 months since the incident.

Read Full Post »

41 years ago today, 84 men lost their lives on the Ocean Ranger. BOE’s 40th anniversary posts can be viewed here and here. The excellent 40th anniversary tribute video is embedded below. Remember these heroes.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »