The Aban Pearl has a prior history of problems.
The rig almost sank in August 2008 while it was being transported to Venezuela. The Trinidadian coast guard received an emergency distress call to evacuate the rig’s crew when the flotation system started to take on water and the rig tilted. But the crew controlled the problem and righted the rig, which completed its journey from faraway Singapore without further incidents.
The rig’s owner, Aban Offshore, also is alleged by one former employee to have a history of lax safety and maintenance. See this link sent by a reader.
The rig that sank overnight in the waters of Paria almost sank en route to Venezuela less than two years ago.
Apparently the problem in August 2008 was very similar, if not identical, to what caused the Aban Pearl to sink last night.,
One can infer from this that Pdvsa and Aban knew that the Aban Pearl’s flotation system was somehow compromised structurally.
There’s no way of knowing right now if one former employee’s allegations about rig owner’s alleged lax safety and maintenance standards are accurate.
But there’s no question at all about the lax safety and maintenance standards that characterize Bolivarian Pdvsa.
One only has to tour Lake Maracaibo and the lake’s Costa Oriental, or spend a few hours inside the Paraguana Refining Complex or any of Pdvsa’s other refineries (El Palito, Puerto La Cruz, Isla Refinery on Curacao), or visit the Jose complex in Anzoategui, to see first-hand how low Pdvsa has fallen operationally.