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Hull Cracks Lead to Oil Leak from Brazilian FPSO

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The FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro (file image courtesy Brazilian Navy)

By The Maritime Executive 2019-08-27 20:28:07

Japanese offshore platform operator MODEC reported Tuesday that cracks in the hull of the FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro have been leaking a limited amount of residual oil into the water. The vessel has been evacuated as a precautionary measure.  

MODEC informed field operator Petrobras of the problem on Friday, and over the weekend about 1.2 cubic meters of oil leaked from the cracks. This pollution was successfully recovered, MODEC said. 

All crewmembers were disembarked from the vessel on Saturday, Sunday and Monday as a precautionary measure, and they have arrived safely on shore, the firm said. 

On Monday, an overflight detected more oil in the water in an amount estimated at about 6.6 cubic meters. Seven oil recovery and dispersion vessels are now on scene to deal with the pollution, along with four support vessels and one helicopter for aerial surveillance. 

An "increase on the extension of the cracks" has been observed since they were first noted, MODEC said. However, it says that the vessel is still stable and safe. 

The FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro has been out of production since last year, and MODEC said that it is currently "in departure procedure." In January, a 1,300 gallon oil spill from the vessel created a slick estimated at 20 nm long by 60 feet wide. 

The FPSO is one of the many offshore production facilities that Petrobras is decommissioning at maturing oil fields. Petrobras intends to remove Cidade do Rio de Janeiro and one more aging FPSO from the Campos Basin region by the end of next year, along with four outdated fixed platforms, decommissioning manager Eduardo Zacaron told media on Monday.