Petrobras shuts down FPSO over safety concerns

Petrobras shuts down FPSO over safety concerns

San Francisco: As if the ongoing corruption scandal around Petrobras was not enough, the company was forced to shut down one of its biggest Floating Production Storage and Offloading units on Friday, because it violated safety rules.

Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run energy company, halted production on the P-58 offshore oil production ship after being told of the problems by the country’s petroleum industry regulatory body ANP.

P-58 which has been producing around 4% of the nation’s crude output in recent months, has been in production in the Parque das Baleias field in the Campos basin offshore Brazil since 2013. But workers complained recently about on-board operational systems.

The oil workers union drew ANP’s attention to 48 safety concerns on board. Among the concerns were: unsafe conditions of the crane; lack of redundant safety systems; the possibility of lighting fixtures and searchlights falling off their sites; poor night-shift lighting; and leaking oil and water and gas in the vicinity of the FPSO’s hull.

Once these problems were relayed to Petrobras the decision was made to turn off the tap on the unit’s 106,000 barrels per day. At least for the time being.

The safety issues must be addressed, and a further inspection by ANP must be carried out, before P-58 will be able to come on-stream again.

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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