Failure to re-open an isolation valve after maintenance nearly caused a huge explosion on a floating North Sea production vessel earlier this month.
The shut valve allowed a pressure build-up of gas in a cargo tank of the Uisge Gorm so great that it deformed some of the vessel’s structural members and deck plates.
Contractor Bluewater Services UK operates the vessel to produce 28,000 barrels of oil a day for Amerada Hess.
`It’s a serious incident,’ said Ruud Zoon, manager of Bluewater’s UK operation. `The damage is severe enough for us to do the repairs onshore.’
The incident is likely to cost Bluewater over £30m, including the liquidated damages it will have to pay Amerada.