Rig soon ready

December 22, 1998, 08:00 CET

Plans call for Deep Sea Trym, damaged in a recent accident, to resume drilling on Rimfaks around the New Year.

Repairs after the 4 December incident on the Statoil-operated Gullfaks satellite in the North Sea are due to be completed by then, reports Gullfaks operations vice president Øivind Reinertsen.

Damage to the rig has turned out to be less extensive than originally feared.

Inquiries into the accident have established that it was caused when a heave compensator locked. This device is intended to offset vertical rig motion during drilling.

The principal reason for the malfunction was a failure in the computerised control system. This switched operating mode from
“locked open” to “automatic” without operatives realising that the change in status had occurred.

“A few hours later, the compensator locked,” explains Mr Reinertsen. “We haven’t been able to establish the direct cause for this event, but several alternative explanations are available.”

Before Deep Sea Trym resumes drilling, Statoil will verify to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate that the work required has been done.