Petrobras P-36 Platform Could Sink

The Petrobras P-36 platform is listing at a 30-degree angle and may sink after two explosions yesterday left one worker dead, two seriously injured and nine missing. "If the degree of listing increases we are going to lose the platform," Petrobras president Philippe Reichstul stated. It took 200 firefighters and seven ships to control the blaze around the platform.

The 31,400 metric ton platform is the height of a 40-story building and has the ground area of an NFL football field. If the P-36 sank, it would be nearly impossible to recover since it is approximately 1 km above the sea bed. No spill resulted immediately following the blasts but five ships were positioned nearby to retrieve any oil that might spill, Reichstul said, adding that all wells have been sealed.

Petrobras was counting on P-36 to help it double oil production over the next five years, making Brazil self-sufficient in energy production. It is estimated that Petrobras could lose $350 million in oil revenue this year due to the blasts. A new platform would take almost two years to complete, almost doubling those losses.