140 was on stand-by for evacuation from Barents Sea platform

September 5, 2012

The troubled oil platform “Scarabeo 8” heeled while drilling for Eni at the Salina field in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea Tuesday afternoon. Situation is now under control, the company informs.“The situation is now under control,” says Merete Jeppesen with the Norwegian rescue coordination center in Bodø to Norway's TV2.

The incident happened Tuesday afternoon when sea water leaked into a ballast tank. The rig got a list of 5,7 degrees towards the starboard side, Eni Norway reports. The company assures that the situation is under control now, and that the well is secured and everyone onboard is safe.

Eni Norway says they alerted the authorities, summoned the company's emergency response teams and mobilized air and marine resources that now are being demobilized. In 2009, BarentsObserver reported on the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authorities who demanded Eni to make several improvements on the Italian built rig “Scarabeo 8” before it could be used in the Barents Sea.

The rig hull was built at the Sevmash yard in Russia and the rig superstructure was partly constructed in Palermo, Italy.

“Rigs which are going to work in the Barents Sea during the winter season have to be reinforced for winter conditions. If this is not done, the rig will never be allowed to drill in this area,” Øyvind Tuntland in the petroleum safety authority said after a 2009-inspection of the rig.

The rig was then towed from Palermo to Westcon in Ølen in Norway, for further construction and completion.  "Scareboe 8" was there improved and reinforced for Arctic winter conditions.

Eni Norway says in their statement on Tuesday afternoon that the ballast tank is emptied and the platform now longer has heel. The incident will be investigated, the company reports.

“Scaraboe 8” is according to Eni Norway’s plan supposed to drill the appraisal well for the Goliat field later this autumn, as BarentsObserver reported. Goliat field outside Hammerfest in Finnmark will be the first operational oil field in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea.

The operation with additional wells to be drilled at Goliat by "Scareboe 8" will last up to at least 2017, Eni Saipem informs.

Copyright 2012, Barentsobserver. All rights received.