Scarabeo 5 in ‘blaze drama’

Scarabeo5_fire20 September 2013, News Wires – A fire is reported to have broken out onboard Saipem’s semi-submersible Scarabeo 5 while in drydock at a yard in the Netherlands.

The blaze on the unit started after a gas leak on the rig, which has been undergoing an upgrade at the Keppel Verolme yard, according to a report on Dutch-language website RTV.

Two workers onboard the rig were said to have sustained burn injuries, with another suffering from smoke inhalation, out of 12 personnel  who were onboard when the fire broke out, of which five are from Norway’s state-owned Statoil that has chartered the unit.

No one was reported missing after the rig was evacuated.

The rig crew reportedly managed to gain control of the fire by around 10am CET and work was ongoing below deck to find the source of the problem, with fire services, police and a rescue helicopter deployed at the scene.

The rig has been chartered by Statoil for recompletion work on a shut-in production well at the Kristin field off Norway that was reportedly due to start at the end of this month.

Statoil press spokesman Knut Rostad told Upstream none of its five workers onboard were injured, while another 12 employees from subcontractors were also unhurt.

He said the rig was taken to the Rotterdam yard earlier this summer, after working at the Visund field, for a five-year class survey as well as overhauling and modification work.

He added there could be a minor delay to start-up of recompletion work at Kristin due to start this autumn as a result of the incident but it “would not have a direct effect” on production from the field.

The fifth-generation rig, which would normally have 180 personnel onboard when operational, was built at Italy’s Fincantieri yard in 1990.

The upgrade job was won by Keppel Verolme in competition with Norwegian refit and modification yards including Westcon.

The unit is one of two Saipem semisubs designed to operate in Norway’s strictly regulated offshore sector.

The other rig, Scarabeo 8, was also built at Fincantieri – typically a cruiseship builder – where it earlier suffered an electrical fire believed to have been an act of sabotage by yard workers before being upgraded at Westcon.

The troubled unit was finally delivered last year after a delay of about three years as remedial work had to be carried out on numerous technical issues but was then involved in a listing incident while drilling the Salina wildcat in the Barents Sea for Eni, parent of Saipem.

The rig is currently carrying out development drilling work at the Eni-operated Goliat oilfield in the Barents under a five-year contract with the Italian operator.

– Upstream

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