Petrobras Releases Investigation Results from P-34 Incident

Petrobras is disclosing the main conclusions of the Investigative Commission established on October 17, 2002 for the Analysis of the Careen of Platform P-34, occurred on the October 13th.

The Commission was composed of technicians specialized in various areas of Petrobras (Exploitation & Production, TRANSPETRO, Engineering, CENPES - Center of Researches, Safety, Environment, Health, and Human Resources), additionally to a member of CIPA (Internal Commission for the Prevention of Accidents) of Basin of Campos, selected among the representative elected by the employees, and another from SINDIPETRO of the Northern Region of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

The Investigative Commission was empowered with full autonomy and authority to carry out the investigations.

Petrobras contracted the Norwegian company DNV, Det Norske Veritas, internationally renowned and with expertise in works of this nature, to follow-up the works and to issue an independent opinion on the methodology applied by the Commission, as well as on its conclusions.

Likewise, COPPE/UFRJ was contracted to follow-up the simulation made on board of P-34, in order to reconstitute the facts that led to the careen.

On November 27, 2002, the Commission delivered the Final Report with the conclusion on the events determining the careen of P-34. Copies of this document were submitted by Petrobras to its Board of Directors, to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, to the National Oil Agency (ANP), and to the Administration of Ports and Coasts of the Brazilian Navy.

The Commission described in the Report the methodology used in its works, reconstituting, in the minimum details, the occurrences registered and the emergency actions, as well as all procedures adopted in order to fully recuperate the stability of P-34.

The documents of project of the platform and the respective operational registries were analyzed. In this context, the analysis of the data contained in the safety copies of the registries of P-34 (its "black box"), and the reconstitution, in-loco, of the sequence of events causing the careen were elements fundamental to the success of the work.

The Final Report of the Commission pointed out that the careen of P-34 resulted from the inappropriate configuration of project for the electric supply of the panel controlling the valves located at the bottom of the cargo and ballast tanks, as well as from the inadequate logics model concerning the programming of the automatic control system of the valves.

The combination of these factors provoked the undue automatic command that opened the valves, resulting in the transfer of fluids to the larboard tanks and the consequent careen of the platform. The Commission further verified that this same undesired combination of events is not present in the other platforms in operation.

The Commission further verified that the unit observed the legal norms for salvage and that the Contingency Plan of Basin of Campos, once activated, promptly provided emergency support to the vessels in the surrounding areas, allowing the rescue of entire crew of the platform without any injury.

Based on these conclusions, internal groups were established to disclose the Report, with the participation of member of the Investigative Commission. These groups will be present in the units of Petrobras for the purposes of disclosing the conclusions of the Report.

Although P-34 and all other platforms of Petrobras comply with the requirements governing the salvage equipment, the Administration of Petrobras determined the development of studies for the identification of eventual necessity of improvement of these resources.