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Nan Hai VI Incident

MEDIA RELEASE from Timor Sea Designated Authority
24 July 2006

In the early hours of Sunday the 23rd of July a fire and explosion occurred aboard the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Nan Hai VI. At the time of the incident, the Nan Hai VI was preparing to drill the Kuda Tasi-3 appraisal well in the Joint Petroleum Development Area. Two people suffered burns and are being treated at the Royal Darwin Hospital. One person has sustained burns to his hands only whilst the other has sustained burns to 25% of his body. Current advice is that both people are expected to make full recoveries.

With respect to the vessel, it is understood damage is essentially confined to the interior of the rig store and cabling running through it. Some automated systems have also been affected. We have received preliminary advice that the Rig is expected to remain inoperable for approximately 5 days.

Incident Description:

It is understood from initial reports that at around 01:30am a welder was cutting tie down rods on the deck above the rig storeroom when the incident occurred. The control room detected smoke in the storeroom and upon investigation, smoke was observed from a storeroom vent and, flames were observed in the vicinity of the storeroom aft deckhead.

The Rig general alarm was immediately activated and all rig personnel were mustered. Fire teams were prepared and a three man team entered the storeroom with Breathing Apparatus and a fire hose.

We understand that at approx 02:00am an explosion occurred in the storeroom, whilst the three man fire team was endeavouring to control the fire. Whilst the fire team did not suffer any injuries, two out of three men that were outside the storeroom entrance at the time, suffered burns to their hands and face. The injured personnel were treated at the scene by the rig medic and evacuated by helicopter to Darwin at 05:30am. They are being treated at the Royal Darwin Hospital where they have undergone surgery.

As a precautionary measure the Rig evacuated non-essential crew evacuated to a standby vessel, the Lady Gerda. The fire was eventually brought under control and extinguished by 06:18 hrs. Damage assessment is currently underway to consider and review what actions may be required prior to recommencement of operations. A Contract Operator and Drilling Contractor investigation team is expected to arrive offshore today. A TSDA investigation team is also being mobilised and an independent incident investigation will commence tomorrow.

Background:

The Kuda Tasi well location is in the Timor Sea in 438 meters of water about 227 kilometres south of Dili, East Timor, and 550 kilometres northwest of Darwin, Australia. It is located in the 03-01 (06-105) PSC Area in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA), which is an area of shared jurisdiction between East Timor and Australia established by the Timor Sea Treaty.

The Contract Operator of the project is Woodside Petroleum (Timor Sea 1) Pty Ltd which has a participating interest of 40 per cent. The other joint venture partners are: INPEX Timor Sea Ltd (35%) and, Talisman Resources (JPDA 03-01)Pty Ltd (25%).

For further information, please contact Nick Kyranis on +670 723 1287 or 0408 473 466 or by email (nick.kyranis@timorseada.org) or Jeremy Dunster on 08 89411861 or via email (jeremy.dunster@timorseada.org)


Union voices safety concerns after oil rig fire injures two

News report from Australian Broadcasting Company
July 24, 2006

The Maritime Union of Australia says it has had concerns for months about the rig that caught fire in the Timor Sea yesterday, seriously injuring two workers.

A fire broke out in a storeroom of the the Nan Hai Six drilling rig early yesterday morning.

Both injured workers were flown to Royal Darwin Hospital and two companies involved with the rig have launched an investigation.

The union's Mick Killick says workers on Nan Hai Six had been worried about safety on the rig.

"On this particular rig they reckon it's one of the worst ones they've actually worked on compared to some of the other rigs that have come down to Australia," he said.

"There was a range of mechanical and electrical safety issues on board, we tried ever since the rig came to Australia to get access for an inspection, have a meeting with a company all to no avail, it all just fell on deaf ears."



Nan Hai VI Incident Investigation

MEDIA RELEASE from Timor Sea Designated Authority
15 August 2006

Incident Summary:

In the early hours of Sunday the 23rd of July a fire and explosion occurred aboard the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit "Nan Hai VI". At the time of the incident, the Nan Hai VI was preparing to drill the Kuda Tasi-3 appraisal well. Two people suffered burns and were treated at the Royal Darwin Hospital. Both of these people are now outpatients, one in Perth and one in Darwin (until such time as he is fit to return to Perth). Damage to the vessel was essentially confined to the interior of the rig store and cabling running through it. Some automated systems were also affected. The Rig is expected to remain inoperable for a total of approximately 30 days.

Woodside/Maersk Incident Investigation findings:

The fire was started by the ignition of flammable material on the ceiling of the warehouse. Heat had been applied to the roof of the warehouse by a welder using an Oxy/Acetylene torch. The subsequent explosion was caused by a "backdraft" from the rapid re-introduction of oxygen to the warehouse.

A combination of factors contributed to the incident, including deficiencies associated with: the application of risk assessment and control; supervision; fire fighting equipment; training; permit to work policy; fire drills, and; audits and inspections. Some of these factors were exacerbated by the rapid rig start up.

These deficiencies are being addressed by Woodside and Maersk through planned improvements to the safety management system, additional training of rig crew and a review of safety equipment, practices and procedures. These activities have been incorporated into an HSE plan for rig re-activation with all critical aspects to be completed prior to re-commencing rig operations.

Timor Sea Designated Authority (TSDA) Response:

The TSDA initiated an independent Incident Investigation immediately after the incident occurred. The TSDA's investigation generally concurs with the findings and recommendations of the Contract Operator's Investigation Team. On the 26th of July the TSDA suspended the Rig's Consent to Use pending the provision of a range of documentation and third party verification that all safety critical systems had been reinstated. On the 10th of August the TSDA conditionally approved an application to commence reconstruction of the damaged parts of the Rig. The TSDA will be sending an Inspector back to the Rig to witness third party verification activities and to follow-up on the status of recommendations made by the Contract Operator's Investigation Team prior to considering any application to reinstate the Rig's Consent to Use.

Background:

The Kuda Tasi well location is in the Timor Sea in 438 meters of water about 227 kilometres south of Dili, East Timor, and 550 kilometres northwest of Darwin, Australia. It is located in the 03-01 (06-105) PSC Area in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA), which is an area of shared jurisdiction between East Timor and Australia established by the Timor Sea Treaty.

The Contract Operator of the project is Woodside Petroleum (Timor Sea 1) Pty Ltd which has a participating interest of 40 per cent. The other joint venture partners are: INPEX Timor Sea Ltd (35%) and, Talisman Resources (JPDA 03-01)Pty Ltd (25%). Maersk Contractors Australia is the Drilling Contractor.

For further information, please contact Nick Kyranis on +670 723 1287 or 0408 473 466 or by email (nick.kyranis@timorseada.org) or Jeremy Dunster on 08 89411861 or via email (jeremy.dunster@timorseada.org)

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (Lao Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
email: 
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