Explosions Damage World’s Largest Production Platform

Two explosions rocked Petrobras' largest offshore oil semisubmersible production platform, P-36. One firefighter is reported dead and nine staff are reported missing. The first blast occurred just after midnight on March 15th and the second blast occurred approximately 30 minutes later. Officials said that according to preliminary estimates the blast had taken place in one of the support columns and the damage was reduced to this area. They noted that the platform had had stability problems at one point, but that had been corrected. A total of 175 people were on the rig at the moment of the first explosion, and most were transferred to a neighboring platform in the basin. A firefighting team of 25 people was left aboard. All production on the rig has been shut-in. No oil leaks from the rig were registered.

The P-36 platform is approximately 125 miles offshore Rio de Janeiro in the Roncador Field which is in the Campos Basin area.

The platform came online last year and had been producing 80,000 barrels per day. The P-36 oil platform can produce up to 180,000 barrels of crude per day and also natural gas and is considered the largest platform in the world in terms of production capacity. The Campos Basin produces 80% of Brazil's 1.5 million b/d of crude output. Roncador has estimated reserves of 3 billion bbl.