Ocean Vanguard Loses Two Anchors During Storm

Diamond Offshore's semisub, Ocean Vanguard, lost two of its eight anchor chains and had its riser torn off on Tuesday evening. Twenty-three of the rig's crew of 86 were evacuated in the course of the night. The incident took place during drilling for Eni Norge on Haltenbanken. The Petroleum Safety Authority (Norway) will investigate the incident.

Wind force of 43-60 knots and 17-18 meter waves have been reported in the area where the incident took place. The wind is now declining.

The evacuated crew members were transported by helicopter to Heidrun. No-one has been hurt, and the rig is now reported to be stable. Six of the original 86-member crew are Norwegian, of which four are among the 63 crew members who are still on board.

Ocean Vanguard is drilling on well 6406/3-1 and had not reached the reservoir when the accident took place. There is therefore no immediate danger of discharges of oil or emissions of gas. There had been a check of the disconnected drillstring before the riser was torn off.

The PSA takes a serious view of the incident, and has started work to investigate and assess the circumstances in connection with the accident.

A formal investigation group will be established in the PSA during the course of the day.

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