Chaos in North Sea as Storm Kills Rig Worker

Stormy weather affected work on several oilfields in the North Sea Wednesday and Thursday with one oil worker dying on a rig and a barge breaking anchor, prompting a platform evacuation.

Statoil reported late Wednesday that a fatality had occurred on the COSL Innovator (mid-water semisub) rig, and two other workers injured, when a breaking wave hit the rig. The two injured workers have been flown by Sea King helicopter to shore, where they are receiving medical treatment. The COSL Innovator is currently working on the Troll field in the Norwegian Noth Sea, west of Bergen.

On Tuesday, BP was forced to evacuate its Valhall platform after a barge broke anchor and drifted towards the installation. However, in a brief phone call with Rigzone Thursday lunchtime a BP Norway spokesman said that the barge had since passed the Valhall platform "without any damaged being caused at all" and that the workers were being returned to the platform. "We are moving back to a normal situation," he said.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Norwegian broadcaster TV2 reported earlier Thursday that ConocoPhillips is evacuating its Ekofisk platform, which is located some 200 miles southwest of Stavanger in the Norwegian North Sea.

 

 

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com

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Chris Chapman | Jan. 1, 2016
A brother lost is always a sad moment, a cruel reminder of the perils we face everyday when on board. It reminds me of the storm of 1973 where I was on the Transworld 58 when the Blue Water 3 went adrift, many rigs lost anchors, winds of 120 knt plus, seas reaching 70ft yet no one was evacuated. Now common sense prevails, companies take action to ensure the safety of our workers. Lets pray for an accident free 2016 as I am still out there working with you all. Chris


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