Weather played a major part in this accident.
Mexico state-owned drilling platform Usumacinta slammed into the Kab 101 Light-Production Rig on Oct. 24, killing 21 people. Waves as high as 8 meters knocked the rig and platform together, damaging a drilling mechanism & pipes and causing fuel & oil spills
(Pix left is the drilling platform Usumacinta)
The accident occurred 20 miles offshore from the Port of Dos Bocas and caused gas & oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, coast state of Tabasco. The crew was unable to contain the oil leak. Pemex, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company was not clear how much gas and oil has spilled. The Mexican Navy sent 8 rescue helicopters and 4 boats to helped with initial rescue operation.
Bad weather had brought stormy seas & high winds shutdown all Mexico's top 3 oil producers in the Gulf. Over 81 workers abandoned a Pemex subcontractor's Usumacinta Platform Oct. 25 after the platform hit the Kab 101 Light-Production Rig amid 25-foot (8-meter) waves & winds gusting to 80 mph (130 kph) which suspended most of the country's oil shipments to the United States. Workers abandoned the rig amid 25-foot waves only after leaking gas rose to unbearable levels and the supply of air from emergency breathing devices ran out. Once in the water, the waves battered the workers' orange-colored, covered life rafts.
Kab 101 Light-Production Rig - After Collision
The Usumacinta, a mobile, self-raising drilling rig, was set up next to Kab 101, preparing to drill a well close to the platform. The force of the waves caused of the rig's "legs" to hit the valve assembly of the platform, causing it to leak oil and gas. The Usumacinta Drilling Rig is owned by the Compania Perforadora Central SA de CV and operates under contract to Pemex.
Here is a video of different types of Rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Take note of some of the extreme weather conditions.
Maritime Note from Holland and Knight
UK – update re MSC NAPOLI
The Devon County Council issued a situation update regarding the MSC NAPOLI. Removal of the stern section of the wreck will be undertaken in two phases and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2008. Phase one will consist of dismantling and removal of the accommodation block and preparation for phase two. Phase two, expected to begin in March 2008, will consist of removal of the main engine and lifting and removal of the remaining stern section. (10/19/07).
My good friend P.C. Liu of Freaque Wave has a great posting on the 2007 Atlantic yearly tropical cyclone activity ( or lack thereof ) that shows the 2007 hurricane season may rank as the most "inactive" one in 30 years!