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The Ocean GreatWhite semi-submersible drilling rig

Semi-submersible drilling rig Ocean Greatwhite. Photo: HHI

Diamond Offshore Semi-Submersible ‘Ocean GreatWhite’ Loses Lower Marine Riser Package

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 6653
February 6, 2024

Offshore drilling contractor Diamond Offshore Drilling has confirmed an equipment failure involving its semi-submersible rig Ocean GreatWhite in the UK.

The incident occurred February 1, 2024 while on contract with BP approximately 200 km west of the Shetland Islands.

According to Diamond Offshore, the malfunction involved the rig’s lower marine riser package (LMRP), which unintentionally separated from the rig at the slip joint tensioner ring and fell to the seabed. The LMRP had been disconnected from the rig’s blowout preventer (BOP) on the well due to harsh weather.

The LMRP is a component of a drilling rig’s blowout preventer system, a critical piece of safety equipment that can be used to quickly isolate a well in case of an emergency.

The Ocean GreatWhite, one of the world’s largest ultra-deepwater harsh environment semisubmersibles, was not engaged in drilling activities at the time of the incident.

In a statement, Diamond Offshore confirmed no injuries, the rig’s structural integrity was maintained, and the well remained secure with the BOP still in place. The company also noted that no seabed infrastructure damage had been reported.

Diamond Offshore is currently working in cooperation with its client, BP, and local authorities to manage the incident. Recovery efforts for the equipment are underway, and the company has begun replacing any missing or damaged equipment.

While it remains too soon to accurately gauge the financial impact, Diamond Offshore assured that it carries insurance coverage for property damage with a $10 million deductible. The company said will provide estimates as more information regarding the incident, recovery operations, and equipment repairs becomes available.

The Ocean GreatWhite is a 6th Generation semi-submersible drilling rig capable of drilling to 35,000 feet and operating in water depths up to 10,000 feet.

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