A worker on a North Sea drilling rig suffered “serious” injuries last month after a release of highly pressurised gas on board.
It happened on the morning of June 11 on Island Drilling’s Island Innovator semi-submersible, just days after the vessel had started work for operator Dana Petroleum.
According to watchdog the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there was an “unintended discharge” of compressed air at around 300 bar.
For context, that is the equivalent of around 4,350 pounds per square inch (PSI) – the average car tyre pressure is between 30 and 35 PSI.
It caused a “rupture or disintegration” of parts of the kit on the Island Innovator, and resulted in a crew member sustaining serious injuries.
At the time of the gas release the worker was “operating valve 315V4001”, a 38 millimetre diameter “screwed connection ball type” tap.
The HSE subsequently launched an investigation and found Island Drilling had “failed to take measures to prevent the exposure of risk” to workers using the equipment.
As a result the Norwegian drilling contractor has been hit with an improvement notice – it has until August 18 to comply with the warning.
Island Drilling, which is headquartered near Bergen, has been approached for comment.
Four-well workover campaign
The Island Innovator, the company’s sole rig, left Norway at the start of June, arriving on location at Dana’s Guillemot field on the 8th – three days before the accident.
Located some 120 miles east of Aberdeen, Guillemot is one of a number of fields tied into the Triton FPSO – the others are Bittern, Clapham, Pict and Saxon.
From start date, the four-well work programme in the Central North Sea is expected to last about 110 days.
Once the $30 million deal with Dana is complete the vessel will head back to Africa to work for Trident Energy in Equatorial Guinea.
Manufactured in China and completed in 2012, the Island Innovators is a 4,000-foot, 6th generation drilling rig.
It arrived in Semco Maritime’s Hanoytangen yard in April having made the trip from Mauritania, where it was carrying out work for Tullow Oil.