Aban Pearl rig goes down

Aban Offshore’s Aban Pearl semi-submersible drilling rig sank early this morning off the Paria Peninsula in eastern Venezuela.

Aban Offshore of India says that the rig sank “following an incident…which impacted its stability.”

Pdvsa declines to comment… por ahora.

The Aban Pearl was drilling the Dragon 6 non-associated gas well in 160 meters of water when it sank.

The Dragon gas field is part of Pdvsa’s Mariscal Sucre offshore gas production/liquefied natural gas initiative.

Other gas fields that Pdvsa is developing by itself in the first stage of the Mariscal Sucre initiative include Patao, Mejillones and Rio Caribe with dry gas, wet gas and gas with condensates, respectively.

The Dragon field is scheduled to start commercial production of at least 600 million cf/d by end-November 2012.

The Dragon field will include eight wells, a gathering platform and a 115-km, 36-inch underwater pipeline to a gas processing plant on the Paria Peninsula.

Energy ministry sources tell Caracas Gringo that the government’s intelligence service (Sebin) will investigate what caused the semi-submersible rig to sink.

Update: Ramirez says that the Aban Pearl’s alarm systems were triggered at 11:20 p.m. on 12 May after a failure was detected in the rig’s flotation systems. The rig’s 92 workers were evacuated when a tilt of 10 degrees was registered. But the captain and a small team of naval and oil well technicians stayed aboard several hours more. When the rig’s tilt reached 15 degrees, operators shut down and disconnected the gas well from the rig to prevent a potential environmental crisis in the area. The Aban Pearl reached a tilt of 45 degrees at roughly 1:30 a.m. on 13 May, at which point the captain and remaining technicians aboard were evacuated. The rig sank at 2:20 a.m.

About Caracas Gringo

Representing less than 0.00000000001515152% of the world population as of 31 December 2011.
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12 Responses to Aban Pearl rig goes down

  1. island canuck says:

    For sure the next step is to blame ….(take your pick) not the incompetence or lack of maintenance that probably caused this sinking.

    Like

  2. Juan says:

    Sebin will be investigating??? We shouldn’t expect a professional and detailed technical report on the incident then. What a joke of a government. This is almost as absurd as the Senate hearings here in the USA with politicians “investigating” what went wrong with the stock market of the BP rig. Since they have no clue of anything technical they don’t even know what questions to ask!

    Like

  3. Texan in Venezuela says:

    I’m thinkig it’s probably a blowout

    Like

  4. Steve says:

    I know a guy who was a drilling consultant on that rig for a while last year. He told me it was a junk heap, a disaster waiting to happen. Very glad that there was no loss of life, and apparently no spill. But this is going to affect offshore development. This gas was intended for electrical generation in the short term.

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  5. robert says:

    The Aban Pearl was here in Trinidad for repairs for many months before crossing to Venezuela. We woke up one day with the Pearl in the news. It was listing 15 degrees and almost sank. I saw it just off Chaguaramas and it was a piece of junk. This was no rig to be proud of.

    Like

  6. CuervoBlanco says:

    “Investigated by SEBIN”. Right. As they know d..k about that… Or maybe they are going to blame “yankee terrorism”. Gimme a break.

    Like

  7. Zedaj says:

    Aban Maintaining sub standard practices sometimes,
    might have led to this.

    Anyway they get insurance money.
    In future it should not be like this as many lives are
    involved

    Like

  8. Roberto N says:

    Look no further for the culprit. It was an underwater iguana that did it. Probably hitched a ride from the Galapagos Islands.

    Like

  9. Insider says:

    As usual the best captains are onshore,working on this rig since it left shipyard in 2008 I can confirm that all maintenance and repairs have been according the Class Society Rules (DNV)and last annual survey was conducted in Jan 2010, so PLS before any conclusions let ABAN provide more details on what happened, thumbs up for the crews who managed to get evacuated in time without any incidents,bad luck for the Rig itselves, but human lifes are more valuable.

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  10. Steve says:

    Published reports are that Aban was receiving $388,000 per day for the Aban Pearl. However, I was told unofficially that PDVSA was paying $535,000 per day (about the same as Transocean Deepwater Horizon working for BP). Do you have any information on rates?

    Like

  11. saltshaker says:

    i worked on that rig and it is a literal junk heap, repaired and sent to venezuela!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

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