COSL Drilling hit with safety order after fatal rig incident

Offshore drilling contractor COSL Drilling has been hit by a safety order from the Norwegian offshore safety watchdog, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), following a fatal incident on board one of COSL’s rigs at the end of 2015. 

The offshore safety agency gave COSL Drilling Europe the order following investigation of the accident at COSLInnovator rig on December 30, 2015, in which one person died when the semi-sub was hit by a massive wave.

The PSA conducted an investigation of the incident and published its findings earlier this year revealing two breaches of the regulations.

Namely, COSLInnovator did not have an air gap of 1.5 metres between the underside of the lowest deck and the highest wave crest. At the time of the incident, the unit’s superstructure was not dimensioned to resist horizontal wave loads. Furthermore, the system for registering personnel on board did not function satisfactorily.

On the basis of findings made during the investigation, the safety watchdog issued the safety order whereby the drilling contractor, who has three drilling rigs of the same design on the Norwegian continental shelf, needs to verify that following the modifications after the incident all three rigs, COSLInnovator, COSLPromoter and COSLPioneer, are in accordance with the appropriate framework regulations concerning construction of mobile units.

Furthermore, the owner of the rigs also needs to get these tests verified by an independent third party.

COSL Drilling has until 01.10.2016 to comply with the order and the safety agency needs to be notified once the order has been received. The company also needs to submit a work plan until June 15, 2016.

The PSA emphasized that each company needs to ensure that requirements related to air gap and horizontal wave forces have been taken care of and that they are the ones responsible for this.

The agency is together with the Norwegian Maritime Authority considering a possible need to adjust the rules and regulation practices related to those issues highlighted by the accident, and it will consider these matters during the process of issuing its Acknowledgement of Compliance statements.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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