‘Scarabeo 5’ Drilling Rig Catches Fire Off Norway

Scarabeo 5. File photo: Saipem
Scarabeo 5. File photo: Saipem

Update: The fire on board the Scarabeo 5 has been brought under control. All 106 crew are safe and accounted for.

A fire broke out Tuesday in the engine of the semi-submersible drilling rig Scarabeo 5 in the Norwegian Sea calling for the evacuation of all non-essential crew.

Norway’s Statoil said at 17:30 Tuesday the drilling rig Scarabeo 5 reported a fire in an engine room with 106 personnel on board. All have been accounted for and none are reported missing.

Firefighting was initially being carried out on board the rig.

An update from Statoil said the fire has now been brought under control.

There are no longer visible flames or smoke at the site of the fire on board Scarabeo 5, and the situation is under control,” Statoil said.

The rig is located at the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea.

All personnel without emergency duties were mustered to lifeboat stations as preparations were being made to evacuate them by helicopter. The update from Statoil said 33 persons had been transported from the rig by helicopter, including 14 who were flown to a nearby installation and 19 to shore in Kristiansund.

As of 18:45 local time there were no plans to evacuate the 73 people remaining on board. 

No drilling operations were underway at the time of the incident.

The standby vessels Ocean Response and Troms Sirius are at the field and assisting the drilling rig. Three helicopters were also available in connection with the incident, Statoil said.

“The public rescue services and the authorities have been notified of the situation. Statoil’s emergency preparedness organisation has been mobilised and resources are being assembled to handle the incident,” the statement from Statoil said.

“Scarabeo 5” is operated by Saipem, a drilling services and construction contractor to the oil and gas industry. The rig is a semi-submersible drilling rig of the ME 4500 type, built by Fincantieri in Genoa in 1990. It is registered in the Bahamas and classified by RINA/ABS. The rig is equipped with two engine rooms and a total of eight engines.

Statoil operates Njord field located around 130 kilometres north of Kristiansund. Water depth at the site is 330 meters. The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority granted Statoil consent to use Scarabeo 5 for well activities associated with production wells on the field earlier this month. The activities were scheduled to begin November 10, 2016.