L&T jacket for ONGC wobbles and falls into sea

Vol 19, PW 9 (14 Jan 16) Exploration & Production

A Happy New Year it clearly wasn't for ONGC and EPC contractor Larsen & Toubro! A brand new $13m jacket they were installing at the Mumbai High North Field toppled into the Arabian Sea early in the morning on January 1.

Nobody was injured or killed but the accident will undoubtedly delay ONGC plans to commission Phase-III of its Mumbai High North Redevelopment Project (MHNRD-III) by March 2016. Who to blame? Hard to tell at this point.

L&T sub-contractor Abu Dhabi-based NPCC was installing the jacket for platform N-23 using pile driving barge HLS 2000 when it tilted over and sank. “Three piles had been driven (into the seabed),” reports an industry source.

“NPCC was driving in the fourth when the entire jacket (weighing around 2000 tonnes) toppled over.” Sources speculate the jacket’s mud mat – a temporary sea floor support used for installation - was faulty.

Others accuse ONGC of providing outdated seabed soil data. Either way it will take two or three months before installation work can resume.

“Surveyors and insurance officials need to check the (sunken) jacket so that a claim can be filed,” we hear. “They will investigate how it sank and what caused the accident.

Whether its parts are damaged, whether it can be salvaged and used or must be replaced? They will also investigate if subsea pipelines were damaged when the jacket fell. Lots of agencies will now get involved.