Norway's PSA Investigates Stability Incident on Scarabeo 8 Drilling Rig

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has started an investigation pertaining to a stability incident that took place on the Scarabeo 8 (UDW semisub) drilling rig September 4, 2012, the regulatory authority said in a statement Tuesday.

A spokesman representing the PSA told Rigzone on Thursday that the agency is unable to determine how long it will take to complete investigations as the process has "just started."

The rig – which is owned and managed by Saipem and is currently being used by Italy's Eni for drilling work in the Norwegian zone of the Barents Sea – was reported as having a 5.7-degree list at 3:15 p.m. (Norwegian time) on September 4, 2012, due to unintentional filing of a ballast tank. Scarabeo 8 was drilling the exploration well 7220/10-1 on the Salina prospect within the PL533 license when the incident occurred. 

The incident triggered an alarm and mustering of personnel. There were 140 people on board when the incident occurred. The situation was normalized within the course of an hour.

The PSA decided on September 5, 2012, that Scarabeo 8 could continue drilling the 7220/10-1 well as the incident did not "entail major accident risk."

The PSA said that its preliminary findings indicate that the incident was caused by incorrect operation of equipment, and it added that its investigation efforts will "focus on Saipem's management of capacity and competence."



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