BSEE Releases Deepwater Asgard Incident Report
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released the results of its investigation into the Deepwater Asgard incident, which occurred on October 28, 2020.
The BSEE noted that the Transocean Drillship Deepwater Asgard sustained major damage to various operational components while evacuating from an area impacted by Hurricane Zeta. BSEE investigators concluded through onsite interviews, photo, video, and operational documentation that the probable cause of the accident was an inaccurate weather forecast. A key contributing cause was said to be the human error decision to stay latched to a well to attempt to ride out the hurricane.
“Early forecasts predicted that Hurricane Zeta would pass east of the Asgard,” the BSEE said in a statement posted on its website.
“When it became apparent that the Asgard was in the direct path of the hurricane, the well was secured, the riser was displaced with seawater, and the emergency disconnect system was executed successfully,” the BSEE added.
“As the harsh weather forced the Asgard off location, the riser and lower marine riser package sustained significant damage. BSEE investigators found that the lower marine riser package was disconnected from the blowout preventers with no issues and there was no spill associated with this event, nor was there a potential for a spill to occur. No injuries were reported,” the BSEE added.
The BSEE highlighted that, after a thorough investigation and analysis of the incident, it made several recommendations to reduce the likelihood of similar events in the future.
Last year, the BSEE estimated that, as of October 29, approximately 84.8 percent of oil production and 57.6 percent of natural gas production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico had been shut-in as a result of Storm Zeta. Several storms affected U.S. oil and gas production in 2020, including Hurricane Delta, Hurricane Sally, Hurricane Laura, and Tropical Storm Cristobal.
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