Norway Kielland platform disaster: new revelations / News / The Foreigner

Norway Kielland platform disaster: new revelations. 27th March 1980 witnessed an oil industry tragedy when the ‘Alexander L. Kielland’ capsized. Responsibility for the catastrophe rests more heavily on Norwegian players than previously admitted, a new investigation shows (free article). The North Sea disaster, which claimed 123 lives, happened after one of the oil platform’s legs broke off. It capsized within 20 minutes. 212 were on board at the time. 30 victims were never found and 89 survived the catastrophe, which occurred 235 miles (some 378 km) east of Dundee in the Ekofisk oilfield. Six further deceased were discovered when the facility was righted in September 1983.

alexanderkielland, northsea, oilplatform, disaster, oil, catastrophe, deaths



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Norway Kielland platform disaster: new revelations

Published on Monday, 31st October, 2016 at 13:04 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 31st October 2016 at 13:39.

27th March 1980 witnessed an oil industry tragedy when the ‘Alexander L. Kielland’ capsized. Responsibility for the catastrophe rests more heavily on Norwegian players than previously admitted, a new investigation shows (free article).

The broken off leg
The broken off leg
Photo: ConocoPhillips/Norwegian Petroleum Museum


The North Sea disaster, which claimed 123 lives, happened after one of the oil platform’s legs broke off. It capsized within 20 minutes. 212 were on board at the time.

30 victims were never found and 89 survived the catastrophe, which occurred 235 miles (some 378 km) east of Dundee in the Ekofisk oilfield. Six further deceased were discovered when the facility was righted in September 1983.

The ‘Alexander L. Kielland’ semi-submersible platform was serving as a hotel for oil industry personnel when the disaster happened.

It did not capsize immediately, developing a severe listing almost directly after the leg broke off.

The accident took place as a result of a previously undetected crack in the broken off leg, concluded official investigations.

New revelations published by western Norway publication Stavanger Aftenblad show that a catalogue of previously undisclosed additional factors led to the oil platform capsizing, however.

Some of these are:

  • An oil pipe on the seabed stretching from the ‘Edda’ production platform prevented all ten anchors from being used
  • Deploying fewer contravened instructions in ‘Alexander L. Kielland’s’ operating manual issued by Compagnie Francaise d’Entreprises Métalliques (CFEM), the French yard which built the facility
  • The Norwegian Maritime Authority had approved using eight anchors
  • This number was so that the platform could lay beside other installations such as ‘Edda’ with a footbridge connecting the two
  • The footbridge was retracted and the ‘Alexander L. Kielland’ pulled away repeatedly during periods of bad weather, present on 27th March 1980
  • Tension on the anchor chain was excessive then
  • The leg broke off while personnel tried to rectify the situation, running between winches

The ‘Alexander L. Kielland’ was later scuttled in Rogaland municipality’s Nedstrandsfjorden on 18th November 1983 at a depth of some 382 fathoms (700 metres).

Read the full story here (in Norwegian, subscription required).



Published on Monday, 31st October, 2016 at 13:04 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 31st October 2016 at 13:39.

This post has the following tags: alexanderkielland, northsea, oilplatform, disaster, oil, catastrophe, deaths.





  
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