03 July 2013 – A Saipem rig off Angola capsized and sank after the seabed “collapsed” below one of one of its legs, leaving one missing and six with minor injuries, the Milan-based driller said.
The jack-up Perro Negro 6 was under a three-year contract off Angola with US supermajor Chevron that commenced in the second quarter of 2012, according to a previous Saipem announcement. Chevron confirmed in a statement that an incident occurred.
The rig was being positioned on location on Monday prior to starting drilling operations between the coasts of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, near the mouth of the Congo River, in around 40 metres of water, Saipem said.
“Due to the collapsing of the seabed under one of the three legs, (the rig) suddenly tilted and suffered hull damages, causing water intake,” Saipem said in a statement.
The rig had no personnel on board at the time it capsized and sank at around 10:30am local time, the rig-owner said. However, one person was missing and six sustained minor injuries.
“After the sudden and significant tilting, among the 103 crew members, one was recorded missing and another six incurred minor injuries,” Saipem said. “At this moment, no environmental impacts have been reported, and all the prevention measures are being implemented.”
A Saipem emergency response team is working closely with Angolan authorities and Chevron’s operational team.
“Search and rescue efforts are underway,” Chevron said in a statement. “Chevron’s subsidiary (Cabinda Gulf Oil Company) worked closely with Saipem in mobilising resources to respond to the incident and notifying appropriate stakeholders.”
The cantilever jack-up Perro Negro 6 was built in 2009 and was rated to drill in water depths up to about 106 metres, according to Saipem’s website.
*Luke Johnson, Upstreamonline