19th November 2019, 21:25
Organisation: Maritime Enthusiast
Department: Office / Administration
Active: 1967 - 2016
Join Date: Oct 2019
Summer '75 Blowout and fire, follow-up
Originally Posted by DxbBob
AAA – I found the attachment in a shoe box of old photos. When I received it in the late ‘70s, I was told it was a wild well fire on a Dubai Petroleum Co. (“DPC”) platform. I have a foggy recollection of two, maybe three, DPC blowouts in the 1970s and don’t know which of them the photo depicts. In fact, I know very little about those blowouts and would like to know more. I’m setting out what I can remember and hope folks will correct my errors and fill in some gaps.
BBB – 1973 events. In, I think, July or August 1973 I remember McDermott rigging up, to DPC’s and Red Adair’s satisfaction, cargo barges and a derrick barge for offshore wild well firefighting service. That urgent “force account” work related to a fire or threat of fire on a DPC platform.
I only recently learned DPC had a platform fire in October 1973. I guess I forgot about the fire that occurred on “A” platform 17 October 1973 while SEDCO Rig 70 was drilling well A-1. I don’t know the extent of platform and rig damage, or how long it took to extinguish the fire. Given this “new” (to me) information, I’m now not certain when McDermott was rigging up its barges for wild well fire service, was it in July or August ’73, as I remember, or was it actually later that year, i.e. in response to that forgotten October fire?
CCC – Questions re. 1973. Was there a DPC blowout in July 1973? If affirmative, did it catch fire? If so, about how long after the initial blow out was it before it ignited?
Did the October 1973 fire cause serious damage? How long did it take to control the blowout and extinguish the fire? Was it extinguished using firefighting apparatus and marine equipment already available to DPC at that time?
DDD – 1975 Events. I vaguely remember a blowout in the summer of ‘75. I believe it was more serious than the ’73 blowout(s): it ended up taking a long time (like seven months) and four or five relief holes to bring it under control.
I also remember a jack up drilling rig was lost in February 1976 and I refer to it here because it just occurred to me that it might have some association with the summer '75 blowout.
EEE – Questions re. 1975. Was the platform at which the summer ’75 blowout occurred a total loss? If affirmative, was it destroyed by fire or cratering-in of the seabed?
At the time of its loss, was the jack up rig drilling a relief well to control the summer ’75 blowout?
Sorry about the length. Thanks.
Note: attached photo was taken by a hand whose name I don't know. The photo is from my personal collection.
With respect to 1975 Fateh Field blowout, former Conoco employee Lester Arnwine recalled that: "after a short period, the gas ignited and the platform and drilling rig collapsed and what remained was a large fire on top of the water."
[from 01/12/2016 interview by Jane Goodsill © 2017 Fort Bend County Historical Commission]