Rowan Viking: gas extinguished near drilling rig

The flare on the crippled North Sea oil platform at the centre of a gas leak has extinguished itself.

[March 29]A flame is still burning nearby Rowan Viking (IMO 8769664) drilling rig  in the stack above  Elgin PUQ (Process/Utilities/Quarters) platform.from which gas has been leaking for three days.

Experts expressed concern that escaping gas could connect with the naked flame in the flare stack and explode.

. Total, France’s largest oil company, said a cloud of escaped gas at sea level was at a much lower height than the flare on the Elgin platform, 150 miles off Aberdeen.

A spokesman said the flare was left burning when the platform was evacuated on Sunday.

He said the flare had been doing an important job taking excess gas off the production platform.

It was hoped it would burn itself out but the oil giant did not know when that would happen.

A cloud of escaped gas was reported to have bubbled up through the sea and was surrounding the base of the platform.

Total, which operates the Elgin platform, said the situation was stable but it had not yet been able to identify the source of the leak.   “Apparently the sea was ‘boiling’ with gas below the rig, which suggests a subsea problem, rather than a problem on the installation.”

A sheen of between two and 23 tonnes of gas condensate, measuring six nautical miles in length, has been reported on the water nearby, and Total has activated its Oil Pollution Emergency Plan.

Rig Name: Rowan Viking
Rig Manager: Rowan
Rig Owner: Rowan
Competitive Rig: Yes
Rig Type: Jackup
Jackup Type: Independent Leg Cantilever
Rig Design: Keppel Fels KFELS N Class
Rated Water Depth: 430 ft
Drilling Depth: 35,000 ft

Classification: DNV
Rig Design: Keppel Fels KFELS N Class
Built By: Keppel Fels  at the Keppel FELS, Singapore shipyard
Delivery Year: 2010
Flag: Panama

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