The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (M11N0047) into the November 2011 striking incident involving the supply vessel Maersk Detector and the mobile offshore drilling unit GSF Grand Banks in the White Rose oil field off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The Report Found Poor communication between the vessel’s bridge officers, as well as between the vessel and the rig, allowed the cargo operation to continue with key personnel unaware that the risk of striking was high.
On the afternoon of , the Maersk Detector was loading cargo from the drilling unit. Weather was deteriorating at the time, with increasing swells arriving from the south. During this operation, the vessel maintained its position relative to the drilling unit by means of an electronic control system called dynamic positioning. At 15:30, Newfoundland Standard Time, the Maersk Detector‘s port stern struck a column of the GSF Grand Banks, holing both the vessel and the rig. There were no injuries and no pollution resulting from the striking.
The investigation found that the relevant weather information was not provided proactively to the bridge officers, so they were unaware that the weather limits for the operation had been reached. Furthermore, the bridge officers did not work as a team, nor did they thoroughly use electronic data available to them to maintain separation distance. As well, the Master prioritized his visual assessment of distance and position over the dynamic positioning alarms and warnings, which were indicating that the vessel was not maintaining its position well. The Board also found that, without formal bridge resource management training and continued proficiency, there is an increased risk to the vessel, its complement and the environment.
The ship operator, Maersk Supply Services Canada Ltd., and Husky Oil Ltd., the oil field operator, have made important changes to their operations to mitigate the risk of a similar accident happening again. Transport Canada has also proposed amendments to the Marine Personnel Regulations regarding bridge resource management training.
last summer, Atlantic towing Announced they had purchased the Jaya Supreme, To be come Atlantic Kesteral. An Article in the March issue of Tug and OSV Magazine lets slip at the End that Atlantic Towing has also purchased her sister ship Jaya Soverign. No ATL Bird name has yet been assigned.
In A seperate Article (PDF), In the Jan/Feb issue of Offshore Support Journal, ATL explains that the vessel was purchased to meet the tender requirements for supporting the Drill Rig West Aquarious working off Newfoundland. Given the Tight timelines, the Purchase of an available vessel makes sence rather then building a new one from scratch. They expect both vessels to find work as the Hebron field is developed.
The two Atlantic offshore petroleum boards and federal entities are not adequately prepared to respond to a major oil spill if needed, says Scott Vaughan, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, in his report tabled today in Parliament. The audit examined the activities of the Canada–Nova Scotia and the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador offshore petroleum boards, and the support provided to them by Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, including the Canadian Coast Guard.
“While the Canada–Nova Scotia and the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador boards have adequately managed the day-to-day environmental impacts of offshore oil and gas activities, they and their federal partners need to do more to prepare for a major oil spill,” said Mr. Vaughan.
The boards can take over managing the response to a major spill if the responsible offshore oil and gas operators fail to respond appropriately. However, the audit identified several deficiencies that limit the boards’ ability to step in effectively. For example, the boards and federal entities have not tested their collective plans or collective capacity, and roles and responsibilities are not always clear in their response plans. In addition, the Newfoundland–Labrador Board has yet to finish an assessment of operators’ spill response capabilities, begun in 2008.
The audit found that the boards have applied some good practices when assessing and approving offshore projects and activities. They have also taken adequate steps to ensure that offshore operators comply with environmental requirements. However, they have not established or updated policies and procedures to guide environmental assessments, and they are not systematically tracking measures to prevent or reduce environmental impacts. They will also need to determine how to adjust to changes to the environmental emergencies regime and the new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
“The boards’ responsibilities have been significantly affected by recent changes to the federal environmental assessment process,” said Mr. Vaughan. “I am also concerned that some basic working arrangements for responding to environmental emergencies have yet to be sorted out.”
The Americans are curently dealing with their own Towing Incident. Shell Oils drill rig is aground on Kodiak Island Alaska, while being towed to Seatle. The tug lost power, and the tow line was severed in high winds and seas (Sound Familier?) See GCaptain for more
The drilling rig KULLUK was built in 1983 by the Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Company Ltd in Tamano, Japan. KULLUK, whose name means “Thunder” in the Inuvialuit language, was first operated by Gulf Canada Resources, Inc. in the Canadian arctic. Kulluk could drill safely in first-year ice up to 1.2 m (3.9 ft) thick. Dome eventually acquired the vessel, which then passed progressively through acquisitions to Amoco and then BP. BP intended to sell this tool for scrap around 2000. Royal Dutch Shell subsequently purchased the vessel.
She was supported by several specially built off shore support vessels with ice class hulls. Though relatively early designs, many are still in service around the world. Arctic Kalvik was sold to the Murmansk Shipping Co. in 2003 and became Vladimir Ignatyuk (Above). She is the sister ship to CCGS Terry Fox, Which operated as Terry Fox for Beaudrill.
There was a third vessel, the ex Canmar Kigoriak. Built in 1979, For Dome Petroleum, who were also interested in the Beaufort Sea. She is very similar to Terry Fox and Vladimir Ignatyuk, but was built first, and has an additional level below her bridge. Canmar Kigoriak now operates as just Kigoriak for Russian owners. Other Vessels used in Arctic Oil exploration are still in service today. Canmar Supplier II is now Atlantic Towings Atlantic Tern (below). Canmar Supplier IV now works for Northern Transportation as the Jim Kilabuk
You can read about the Kulluk in Canadian service here
UPDATE: Edited April 27/2015 to Correct facts. the Kulluk was scraped in China following the Incident above.
The Western Neptune is Survey vessel belonging to Western Geco. Such vessels are used in sub sea geophisical surveys – typically for oil and gas. Western Geco appears to specialize in surveying existing resevoirs, so they may be here doing work on the Sable or Deep Panuke gas fields.
The Geo Caribbean Arrived this afternoon and anchored in the Harbour. She was Conducting Seismic surveys off Newfoundland, and has presumably come to Halifax to Wait out the Hurricanes. She was most recently seen late last week in St. Johns Nfld, and Presumably came to Halifax as the storm is expected to hit that part of Newfoundland Hard.
Thor Omega, Who has spent some time in Halifax This summer, Is serving a s a supply ship to the Geo Caribbean.
Photos to Follow. UPDATE: She Later Moved to Pier 27, and will Sail around 1300 on the 12th.