Pumping and ventilation equipment as well as divers have been lined up in advance of entering the compartment on the Cidade de Sao Mateus floating production, storage and offloading vessel where it is suspected the three missing workers may be.
Six people are known to have died following the 11 February blast on the BW Offshore-owned unit working for state giant Petrobras on the Camarupim and Camarupim Norte fields in the Espirito Santo basin.
Five of the deceased – comprising four Brazilians and one Indian – have already been returned to their families, but it is unclear if the sixth casualty – also a Brazilian – has yet been flown to shore.
All three personnel who remain missing are Brazilian.
A search team remains on board in daylight hours but is taken off before night fall as the vessel is dead in the water, with production shut in.
A BW spokesperson told Upstream that the team plans on soon entering the flooded pump room. However, there is no confirmation that this is where the three missing people are located.
The explosion initially left three people confirmed dead, with that number swiftly rising tofive before the sixth was then confirmed dead. There were 74 people working on the floater when the blast occurred.
BW this week defended itself from suggestions in Brazilian media reports that it could be fined over improper licensing for the FPSO, chief financial officer Knut Saetre insisting: “So far as we are concerned, we should be OK with all our permits.”