Rig Fire Injures Yard Workers in Brazil

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The Lone Star (file image courtesy Queiroz Galvao)

By MarEx 2016-04-12 19:13:05

Brazilian drilling firm Queiroz Galvao Oleo e Gas reported a fire on its Lone Star platform late Monday. The rig was moored near the Mauá shipyard for repairs at the time of the incident. 

The company said that 14 workers and firefighters on the rig were injured, and were taken to a hospital in Niterói for treatment for smoke inhalation; 11 have been released. Queiroz said that none had been burned. 

A yard union representative, Edson Rocha, said that two of the workers were in serious condition. 

The platform was evacuated, but the yard said that the site no longer presented a hazard and that work could resume Tuesday. 

Queiroz Galvao told Brazilian media that the fire occurred during work on an electric motor, and that the fire had been put out quickly, with no significant damage to the rig. 

The 2011-built ultradeepwater Lone Star is capable of water depths to 8,000 feet and drilling depths to 30,000 feet. 

In March, Queiroz Galvao announced that it was reducing planned investments in offshore oil and gas by more than a third due to falling oil prices, driven in large part by deferment of drilling plans in its Atlanta find in the Santos basin. 

The family after which Queiroz Galvao is named is among many entities - including Odebrecht and Grupo Petropolis - implicated in both the Operation Car Wash corruption scandal in Brazil and in the Panama Papers offshore tax shelter document leak. 

Mauá Estaliero’s century-old Niterói shipyard was shuttered in June of last year due to insufficient resources to complete three oil tankers on order for Petrobras subsidiary Transpetro; it laid off hundreds of workers, who alleged that they were not paid severance. The firm has repositioned itself to make repairs, and presently operates with 300 employees.