Emergency Aboard Noble’s Paul Wolff Rig Prompts Evacuation Offshore Brazil

noble paul wolff
File image of the Noble Paul Wolff while being drydocked abord the semi submersible heavy lift barge, Gavea Lifter. Image shown to give perspective to what the submersed structure of the rig looks like. Image: HMC

Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) confirmed today that their semi-submersible drilling rig, the Noble Paul Wolff, experienced a ballast control incident at approximately 01:00 a.m. (BRT) local time on Friday.

The rig is a 1980-built, Noble EVA 4000-design dynamically positioned semi-submersible and has been operating off the coast of Brazil on contract with Petrobras since 2009.

Noble notes that 77 non-essentially personnel were evacuated from the rig while the crew “took prompt corrective action” to secure the well and remedy the situation.

There were no injuries or pollution reported and the well is secure according to Noble spokesperson, John Breed.  He could not comment on the specifics of the drilling operations that were underway at the time of the incident.

At the end of 2013, ballast control issues aboard the newbuild semi-submersible Deepsea Aberdeen resulted in the rig’s sinking while at the dock at DSME shipyard in South Korea.  Images of that incident can be found HERE.