BSEE issues report on Transocean drillship incident

June 15, 2021
BSEE has released the results of its investigation of the Oct. 28, 2020 incident when the Deepwater Asgard sustained major damage while evacuating from an area impacted by Hurricane Zeta.

Offshore staff

HOUMA, Louisiana – The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has released the results of its investigation of the Oct. 28, 2020 incident when the Transocean drillship Deepwater Asgard sustained major damage to various operational components while evacuating from an area impacted by Hurricane Zeta.

The Deepwater Asgard was under contract with Beacon Offshore Energy at the time of the incident. It was drilling the Highgarden Well #1 at Green Canyon block 895 in 5,594 ft (1,705 m) of water.

BSEE investigators concluded through onsite interviews, photo, video, and operational documentation that the probable cause of the accident was an inaccurate weather forecast, with a key contributing cause being the human error decision to stay latched to the well to attempt to ride out the hurricane.

According to the report, early forecasts predicted that Hurricane Zeta would pass east of the Asgard. When it became apparent that the Asgard was in the direct path of the hurricane, the well was secured, the riser was displaced with seawater, and the emergency disconnect system was executed successfully. As the harsh weather forced the drillship off location, the riser and lower marine riser package sustained significant damage. BSEE investigators found that the lower marine riser package was disconnected from the BOPs with no issues and there was no spill associated with this event, nor was there a potential for a spill to occur. No injuries were reported.

After a thorough investigation and analysis of the incident, the bureau made several recommendations to reduce the likelihood of similar events in the future and published a BSEE Safety Alert March 8, 2021, which was provided to offshore operators.

06/15/2021

Courtesy SBM Offshore / GustoMSC via aukevisser.nl
Courtesy Valeura Energy Inc. Corporate Overview May 2024