Flaws in procedures, equipment and training led to fatal Petrobras FPSO blast

San Francisco: Brazil’s state oil giant Petrobras on Friday revealed the results of its investigation into a fatal explosion on one of its FPSO units in February.

Nine people died and 26 more were injured in the blast, the country’s worst incident in the industry for 14 years.

The explosion occurred following a natural gas leak aboard the Cidade de São Mateus 276,736 dwt, built 1989) on February 11 while the ship was anchored in the Camarupim oil field in the Espirito Santo Basin northeast of Vitoria.

Friday’s report laid the blame on a series of technical failures and poor decision making.

The list of causes given included a failure to follow proper fluid pumping procedures as well as the installation of an incompatible piece of equipment. Workers were also sent to the pump house after the alarm was triggered without prior procedural training.

Petrobras has denied any prior knowledge of the failings laid out in the report.


Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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