Footage has emerged of the moment a piece of kit collapsed into the sea during a drilling rig incident in the West of Shetland while working for BP.
The Ocean GreatWhite’s lower marine riser package “unintentionally separated” causing it to fall to the seabed at BP’s Schiehallion field during a storm on February 1, 125 miles west of the islands.
Diamond Offshore Drilling is carrying out a five-well campaign across the Ben Lawers project and its current location.
The Aberdeen-based drilling firm has shared that it is “investigating the incident to understand the cause of the separation.”
At the time when the rig’s lower marine riser package (LMRP) “unintentionally separated from the rig at the slip joint tensioner ring” there was no drilling taking place, Diamond’s Houston headquarters said.
A key device on the seafloor sealed off the well so that no oil or natural gas escaped, Diamond Offshore commented.
A BP (LON: BP) spokesman said: “BP is aware of the incident involving the Ocean GreatWhite drilling rig and we are providing any necessary support to rig operator Diamond Offshore Drilling.”
It is understood that the London-listed supermajor is investigating th incident alongside Diamond Drilling.
Energy Voice has been sent a video of the incident taking place.
Diamond drilling secured the $80m contract with the London-listed supermajor last year. Work relating to the deal was expected to last 300 days with options for another eight if needed.
The estimated end date for the contract was set to land in the first quarter of this year at the time of the deal’s announcement. It is unclear how this incident will impact the timeline of operations.
Diamond Drilling has been asked for comment on the situation.
The Aberdeen drilling firm said: “It is too early to reliably estimate the financial impact of the incident, but the Company will prepare estimates as it obtains further information regarding the incident, the recovery of the LMRP and riser and the repair and replacement of affected equipment.
“The Company maintains insurance coverage for property damage with a $10 million deductible.”
In May BP’s now chief executive, then chief financial officer, hailed a “step change” in operations at the Schiehallion field.
The current top brass said that the digitisation efforts at the field were like “nothing I’ve ever seen in my career,” when talking about the Quad 204 FPSO that the site uses.
Quad 204 is a redevelopment of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, which started back up in 2017 after a £4bn investment.
The Schiehallion and Loyal fields first produced oil in 1998 and went on to pump out nearly 400m barrels of oil.
The revamp was targeted at another 450m barrels – and BP is targeting more wells at the asset.
The UK’s safety watchdog, the Health and Safety Executive, told Energy Voice: “We are aware of an incident on the Ocean GreatWhite drilling rig and are monitoring the situation.”