An employee died after a massive wave struck an oil rig platform in the North Sea. Two more workers were injured, urging the evacuation of 50 people from its 106 staff in order to avoid any further incidents.
The oil ring belongs to China Oilfield Services Ltd. And is located in the North Sea, inside the region known as the Troll field, offshore of Norway. This whole area is owned by Statoil. The Troll gas field makes up 40% of Norway’s natural gas resource, making it the cornerstone of the country’s gas production.
The storm has been underway since Wednesday morning, producing waves of up to 45 feet, with speeds reaching almost 100 feet per second. Because of the high-speed wind, rescue helicopters were unable to land on the platform in order to evacuate the 50 people that had their living quarters severely damaged by the storm.
The injured had to be lifted with rescue chords, making the task take more than previously estimated. Because the COSL platform was a drilling rig, not a production one, its function was not affected in any way by the storm, according to a statement released by Statoil.
The COSL Innovator rig was on its way to the coast of Norway, expected to dock this Thursday, but the recent events modified the landing date accordingly. Fortunately, no other incidents have been reported up to this point, and it seems that the weather is slowly starting to calm down.
This unfortunate incident marks the first death off Norway since the year of 2009, according to the numbers released by the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority. Six years ago, an employee fell off a high scaffolding to his death, on the Northern Sea Oseberg B platform.
The other two injured workers received immediate medical treatment, with the third one suffering from death onboard the helicopter. The repair of the accommodation module that got affected by the storm, forcing the 50 employees to get evacuated, will more than likely start once the rig will dock on the Norwegian coast.
Statoil has stated that the evacuation procedure of the remaining employees will be carried out by helicopter as well while the rig will be manned by the bare minimum of personnel until it reaches the coast.
These storms may become more common in the near future as the effects of climate change become more prevalent as time goes on. Because of this, Statoil is currently planning to restructure some of its present practices in order to ensure a higher degree of safety for its employees. It all depends completely on how the weather will be affected by the slight increase in normal temperature that has been spotted around the globe, not just in the northern sections.
It is extremely unfortunate that an employee died after a massive wave struck an oil rig platform in the North Sea, but on the bright side, no other casualties were present. Hopefully, the evacuation process will be able to complete without any other major incidents along its way.