Workers on board the Floatel Superior operating on the Norwegian Continental Shelf had a rude awakening on Wednesday when they were forced to muster at their lifeboat stations in the very early morning darkenss. A damaged, and leaking ballast tank had been discovered at 0340 and rig personnel were forced to evacuate to adjacent installations.
Water seepage caused a 3-4 degree tilt that was speedily rectified and rig stability was re-established. The rig was disconnected from the Njord platform when the incident occurred.
Six helicopters and an emergency response vessel were deployed by Statoil to assist the rig. In addition, an anchor handling vessel will be dispatched to inspect the damage. The rig will eventually be towed to shore for further evaluation and repair.
UPDATE: A total of 326 persons have been evacuated while 48 persons tasked with emergency duties remain on the accommodation rig, which is now being prepared for removal out of the safety zone around Njord A.
Operated by Floatel International and on contract to Statoil, the Floatel Superior provides accommodations for 374 people who operate the Njord A production platform.
A planned maintenance shutdown is currently being carried out on Njord A that involves the upgrading of the process plant and other projects. No processing or drilling is therefore taking place there.