Discharge from Eirik Raude

View from above on the Eirik Raude
(Click to Enlarge)
On February 8th the semisub Eirik Raude experienced an accidental discharge of so-called green chemicals during the exploratory drilling of the Obelix prospect in the Barents Sea. No irregularities or breaches of regulations were found during an audit carried out on board the rig by the Norwegian State Pollution Control Authority (SFT).

SFT does not consider the discharge of six cubic meters of water-based BOP fluid to be harmful to the environment. BOP (Blow-out Preventer) fluid is used to operate the BOP valve on the sea bed, and this fluid is normally discharged to the sea when the valves are operated.

However, one of the measures taken during the drilling operation in the Barents Sea was to modify the BOP to allow the fluid to be returned to the rig when valves are operated.

The newly-developed BOP-fluid is a so-called green chemical, containing only substances designated by SFT as having extremely little or no negative effect on the environment.

Two cubic meters of the discharge were water, while the remainder was a mixture of glycol (anti-freeze) and the BOP fluid Pelagic Green Zone.

Positive audit

SFT carried out an audit on the "Eirik Raude" the week before the discharge took place, where measures to counter emissions to water were one of the control points. The audit also focused on the handling of chemicals and waste.

In their report from this audit, SFT state that there is extremely little to criticize. No breaches or deviations from the authorities' requirements were found.

However, SFT made five comments that can contribute to further improvements in the operation, and together with Ocean Rig, Hydro will act on the recommendations given.


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