Offshore Rig Blast Kills 3

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 @ 11:06 AM gHale

File photo of the drillship Norbe VIII.

Three workers died after an explosion during maintenance operations Friday on board the Odebrecht Oil & Gas (OOG) drillship Norbe VIII while operating in the Marlim field for Petrobras in the Campos basin.

OOG worker Eduardo Aragao de Lima, 33 years-old, died Sunday from injuries sustained in the blast. Ericson Nascimento de Farias, 29, and Jorge Luiz Damiao, 44, both employees of services provider IMI, died on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

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The oil workers’ union said a gas leak had caused the blast off the south-eastern coast.

“Of the 74 workers on board, three did not survive their wounds and died on site,” said officials at Petrobras, the largest company in the world’s seventh-largest economy.

“Ten were injured and have already been taken to hospital by helicopter for medical attention. Six others have disappeared.”

The explosion occurred at 8 a.m. local time in one of the rig’s boilers and also injured one other worker.

The injured worker, Fernando Garcia, ended up released from the hospital Saturday, said Petrobras oil worker’s union Sindipetro-NF.

There was no subsequent fire after the blast, and the emergency plan was triggered immediately after the explosion. Activities on the rig remain shut.

The drillship, one of six rigs OOG has on charter with Petrobras, is in safe condition, Petrobras said.

Norbe VIII is contracted for a 10-year period with Petrobras, until July 2021, for a day rate of $381,000.

Petrobras said it will investigate the causes of the accident. Sindipetro-NF said the accident occurred during maintenance operations at the boiler.

The Norbe VIII, or NS 32, was built by DSME and is capable of drilling in water to 10,000 feet, with drilling depths to 40,000 feet. She has previously been used offshore Brazil for appraisal drilling at the Carcará discovery in the Santos Basin. As of Friday, her AIS signal showed her holding position and restricted in ability to maneuver off the coast of Sao Joao da Barra.

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