Drilling programs in doubt after deaths

Offshore drilling programs for Origin Energy and Oil Search have been thrown into doubt following the death of two workers yesterday on an offshore drilling rig, the Stena Clyde, which is operated by Stena Offshore of Scotland.
Nanjing Night Net

The incident occurred during the drilling of the Geographe 2 development well for Origin in the Otway Basin. This well is located almost directly offshore from Warrnambool, in western Victoria.

The two Geographe wells were to be drilled in shallow waters of up to 90 metres depth, with the wells scheduled to take between 30 and 60 days each to complete.

After drilling the Geographe 3 well, the rig was due to be released.

It was subsequently scheduled to drill up to four wells for Oil Search off Papua New Guinea from the start of 2013.

The drilling there, in shallow waters of up to around 150 metres, involved drilling to a depth of up to 3500 metres, with each well expected to be completed in around four weeks.

‘‘There are no environmental issues as a result of the incident and existing Otway production is not impacted,’’ Origin Energy said in a statement following the accident, which is believed to have been due to a mechanical failure.

‘‘All onboard operations have been suspended and the well has been secured in line with established safety and emergency response procedures.’’

Separately, Stena said an investigation unit has been established, which is comprised of officials from the company, along with Origin and representatives of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Environmental Management Authority.

It is unclear at this stage how long it will take to conclude the investigation, and then to complete repairs so the rig can recommence operations.

Drilling there was anticipated to be completed by May, before the trade wind season begins, which makes offshore work difficult.

Built in 1976, in Finland, the Stena Clyde rig has been active in Australian waters for some time, and has a busy work schedule until at least the second quarter of 2013.

Based in Aberdeen, Scotland, Stena Drilling is believed to be owned by the Olsson family of Sweden.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Posted by at 21/12/2018
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