Oil Rig Accidents

Oil Rig Explotions

Oil Rig Injuries

Petrobras America Inc

Petrobras ranks among the most prominent names in the fields of transportation, trading exploration and refining of oil. The company is based in Houston, Texas, and it was set up in 1987. The corporation operates in over 20 countries, and it also has partnered up with other companies to optimize the exploration of five ultra-deepwater fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

Company Overview

Petrobras America Inc. has been in the oil refining business since 2008. Currently, it focuses on an array of niche industrial activities like:

  • Oil and gas exploration and production
  • Refining
  • Supply and distribution of natural gas
  • Production of petrochemicals and fertilizers
  • Transportation and trade
  • Biofuel production
  • Electricity generation

The company publishes regular performance reports in which it outlines the types of equipment being used and the results accomplished through the utilization of each. As far as oil and gas exploration/refining are concerned, Petrobras relies on an array of different platforms.

Fixed, jack-up, semi-submersible, drilling vessel, TLWP, FPSO and FPSO mono column rigs are all a part of the Petrobras America fleet. The reason for the extensive investment in such technologies is that most of the company’s oil production facilities are located in offshore fields. While land operations are also a part of the portfolio, the primary area of concentration involves marine exploration and refining.

As already mentioned, this equipment is used throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Cascade is the corporation’s first ultra-deepwater field. This field produces to the first FPSO vessel that has gotten approval for operation in the US Gulf of Mexico. Upon the extraction of the oil, it is transported to shore via tankers. The very same FPSO is used for production from the Chinook field.

On top of these, Petrobras also operates a deepwater field called Cottonwood. The field is located at a depth of 2,200 feet, and the transportation of oil happens via pipelines.

Worker Injuries and Accident Reports

Sadly, there have been multiple instances of workers on Petrobras ships and drilling platforms getting either killed or seriously injured in accidents.

This entity is one of the largest operators in the field. It has a big number of offshore facilities where heavy equipment is operated on a daily basis. Because of these facts, Petrobras workers are exposed to a wide array of dangers.

Over the years, there have been multiple deadly accidents. Unfortunately, a workplace incident having a lethal outcome has already taken place in 2017.

In June, three workers were killed in a Brazilian offshore drilling rig explosion. The explosion took place in the ship’s boiler room. The accident was contained relatively quickly, but three workers experienced burns severe enough to take their lives.

This is one of the worst Petrobras accidents since an infamous FPSO explosion that took place in 2015. Once again, a vessel off the shore of Brazil was involved. The accident killed five workers and injured 10. According to an official statement, the ship had a 74-member crew at the time of the blast. An evacuation operation took place shortly after the explosion, contributing to the quick extrication of most workers.

Apart from these major accidents, Petrobras America has had multiple other incidents that have either killed workers or contributed to life-altering injuries:

  • One worker died after falling from an offshore platform in Brazil. Victor Geraldo was working on the Cherne-2 fixed platform when he fell from a height of 12 meters. Geraldo did not survive the fall and died on the spot. An investigation followed, and union representatives claimed that Petrobras workers in the area were subjected to incredibly unsafe working conditions. Allegedly, these conditions had contributed to hundreds of deaths and injuries over the years.
  • A fuel tank explosion in 2015 caused the death of two. The accident took place at a Brazilian fuel-loading terminal. The two workers in charge of fuel distribution were engaged in a maintenance procedure when the explosion occurred. The cause of the explosion remains unknown.
  • Also in 2015, two workers were injured severely in a platform blast. The Brazilian workers had first and second-degree burns that resulted from an electrical panel explosion. One of the injured men remained on the platform but the second one needed medical treatment. As a result of the explosion, oil production also had to be suspended.
  • In 2014, a mechanic decided to sue the corporation after sustaining serious injuries. Jeffrey Wilkerson was working at a facility in Peru. He couldn’t get back to the US on a plane, and the company provided him with a boat instead. Eventually, the boat hit an obstacle and flipped over. Wilkerson suffered various injuries when he was trapped underneath the boat.
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