ExxonMobil and KCA Deutag have received a telling off for what could have been a fatal accident on the Hebron platform, off east Canada.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) issued a notice of non-compliance last week. The accident took place on May 28.
The agency reported the accident took place when the drilling maintenance team was working on the knuckle boom crane. While using a hydraulic pin puller arrangement, the puller rod was put under far greater stress than it was designed to withstand.
After four attempts to pull the 6.8 kg rod, it failed on the fifth. It fractured and was “projected” around 19 metres across the pipe deck. It then deflected off the crash rail and then, after travelling another 12 metres and another deflection, it came to rest 14 metres down on the Utilities Process Module (UPM) upper deck.
There were no barriers to stop the rod, CNLOPB noted. It had “the potential for fatality”, the report said.
CNLOPB said the work had lacked a number of crucial pieces of information. These included examining the load rating of the rod and lacked step-by-step instructions for its removal.
CNLOPB cired ExxonMobil Canada Properties for six specific non-compliances. These range from a failure to take “all reasonable measures to ensure health and safety” for all, through to the specific operating procedure failures.
Exxon did get credit for having taken corrective actions, the report said. It must also carry out an audit for failures and gaps in the management system, review the use of jacks on the Hebron, ensure workers are trained and publish an incident bulletin.
The agency cited KCA Deutag for five non-compliance issues. The safety warning said the driller must carry out an audit, ensure training and also review jack use on the Hebron.
There were a number of near misses on Hebron in 2021. Incidents included injuries on the facility and a support vessel.
Exxon is pressing ahead with drilling off Canada. Last year, it signed up SFL’s Hercules semisubmersible for work. The rig has recently arrived in Canada, at Bays Bull today, Esgian has reported.
The Hercules will drill the Gale well first.