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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Staff evacuate after collapse of support rig in Qatar’s Al Shaheen field

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Rumailah support rig
Rumailah support rig

A recently-built rig that housed offshore oil workers partly collapsed into the sea off the shore of Qatar earlier this week and will need months of repairs, its owners said in an official statement.

The support barge Rumailah was a floating staff accommodation block owned and operated by Qatar-based Gulf Drilling International (GDI) and was in the Al Shaheen field, which is run by Maersk Oil Qatar.

On Sunday, July 5, the rig suffered what was described as a “punch through incident,” according to the parent company Gulf International Services (GIS), which issued a statement to Qatar’s stock exchange.

This refers to a situation when one of the rig’s support legs goes through the sea bed, causing the barge to list to the side, a source told Doha News.

All staff were evacuated from the support rig, GIS said.

“The Barge will be taken to Nakilat shipyard for repair and maintenance, which is expected to take a few months approximately. GDI advised that there were no personal injuries and that all personnel had been safely evacuated from the vessel, ” the company added in its statement to Qatar Exchange.

In a statement, Maersk Oil said: “We are supporting Gulf Drilling International (GDI) following a punch through incident offshore on 5 July, involving the GDI owned and operated Jack-up rig ‘Rumailah.’

“All personnel are safe and accounted for and no damage to Al Shaheen facilities has been reported.”

A spokesman told Doha News that an investigation into the incident is underway.

What happened

The rig, which is understood to have been built in 2014 and is known as a “liftboat,” can float and move into position, and has three legs that jack down to the sea-bed for support and stability.

Photographs of the rig after the incident, published in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenbladet, show it leaning at an angle and partly submerged. A number of small orange boats with people on board can be seen around it.

According to the paper, it had only recently come out of repairs after incurring problems with one of its jack-up legs.

The Al Shaheen oil field, 80km off Qatar’s shores, is one of the world’s largest producing fields, providing around 300,000 barrels of oil a day – one-third of the state’s daily oil production.

The field was initially discovered in the 1970s but at that time thought to be impossible to develop commercially, as the reservoirs were stretched across large distances.

Maersk Oil started working there in 1992 after it entered into an exploration and production sharing agreement with Qatar Petroleum, and two years later the first oil was produced.

In May this year, QP invited other international oil companies to compete to operate and develop the field, after the agreement with Maersk Oil expires in mid-2017.

Maersk’s Chief Executive Nils Andersen had previously voiced his optimism that the existing agreement would be extended, albeit on different terms.

“Whether it will be better or worse we don’t know, but it could easily be a win-win,” he told Danish daily Berlingske, Reuters reported at the time.

Thoughts?

24 COMMENTS

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Concerned Engineer
Concerned Engineer
6 years ago

This was one of those incidents that was waiting to happen as a reault of corporate mismanagement. Maersk Oil’s hiring practices need to be revamped to focus more on technically competent hires instead of hiring friends and family or relatives of people working in service companies just to get favors. Or hiring numerous qataris just to gain points with qp so you get your contract for the field renewed. They should thank god no one got hurt or killed, at least thats what they’ve reported. The incident could’ve been much worse.

Technically Competent Hire
Technically Competent Hire
6 years ago

I take it they rejected your application, then?

Concerned Engineer
Concerned Engineer
6 years ago

No, I dont even work in the oil and gas industry. I do, however, work in an industry where geotechnical investigations are of huge importance and given that knowledge, I am amazed at the incident and how it happened. Like another commenter pointed out, a “punch through incident” shows incompetence or extremely bad luck. And if i had to take sides i would go with technical incompetence.

Either a proper site investigation was not done or the results of the investigation were interpreted incorrectly which led to this incident. Whichever it was, i hope a thorough investigation is conducted.

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

The rig is owned and operated by Gulf Drilling International not Maersk Oil.

Another concerned engineer
Another concerned engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

I guess you get what you pay for. You’ve got companies that pay for quality, and others.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

So which rig service company provides quality service in your opinion?

Even more conserned engineer
Even more conserned engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  Misha

Well since GDI has a monopoly on the market we will never know

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

I meant globally.

Even more concerned engineer
Even more concerned engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  Misha

I would guess the ones that don’t sink provide better service.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

Ah, I actually thought you knew what you were talking about and had some technical insight. Any company (regardless of level of service quality) can have an accident due to numerous reasons. How they deal with the accident and if the accident is not prevented in the future (happens again for the same reason) is a better indication of the company quality.

Even more concerned engineer
Even more concerned engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  Misha

Misha, this was a “punch through incident”. That means that one of the legs of the jackup penetrated the seabed. This is an extremely rare occurrence and is simply not an acceptable in the industry. This is why it is making headlines! The rig’s load on the seabed where is it places is meant to be analyzed and monitored by the drilling company before it can deploy at a location. A hiccup like this points to a significant lack to competency and improper compliance with international standards.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

Thank you that was the kind of insight I was looking for.

DickDePilot
DickDePilot
6 years ago

I know that Headlines sell papers but I would have to comment on the “Staff Flee After Incident …..” that was used. There was no fleeing but there was a well planned and executed evacuation of the rig. The word Flee suggests panic and chaos as opposed to an evacuation which followed a plan. Just saying 🙂

Anonymous Offshore worker
Anonymous Offshore worker
6 years ago

There is an error in the article… It should read – > The rig, which is understood to have been built in 2014 and is known as a “LIFT BOAT”, not lifeboat

FYI GDI website – http://www.gdi.com.qa/English/Operations/Pages/Liftboats.aspx

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago

Thank you, just fixed it.

UnhappyReader
UnhappyReader
6 years ago

The article is very poorly written and very misleading to the readers. As professional journalists I think you have a duty make sure you paint an accurate picture to your readers. Stating that “Staff fleed” from a rig not right at all. There is no “fleeing” from a clasping rig in the middle of the sea. There are planned evacuation procedures that take place in such incidents.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  UnhappyReader

They can change “flee” with “evacuated” and everything will be fine. Would that make you a HappyReader?

UnhappyReader
UnhappyReader
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Yes it will Yacine

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  UnhappyReader

Thanks for your comments guys, have changed it to evacuate.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Cool! Now UnhappyReader can change his name to HappyReader 🙂

DickDePilot
DickDePilot
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Translation into a language that is not your mother tongue isn’t always easy to do. Listening to critique/feedback and acting on it in a positive manner is to be commended. Well done Doha News 🙂

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  DickDePilot

You’re welcome – and as far as I know, English is the native language of almost all the reporters at DN. 🙂

Siling Labuyo
Siling Labuyo
6 years ago

By “flee” I thought the slaves had “run away/absconded” from their masters.

michel sigras
michel sigras
6 years ago

Indian style maintenance works? :))

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