ANP Concludes Frade Field Accident Investigation (Brazil)

ANP Concludes Frade Field Accident Investigation (Brazil)

The ANP announced that it has concluded the investigation regarding the accident at Frade Field, which occurred on 07.11.2011, due to the drilling of the well 9-FR-50DP-RJS by Chevron Upstream Frade Ltda Brazil.

The elements evaluated and described by the ANP in its report show in detail that the accident could have been avoided if Chevron had conducted its operations in full compliance with regulations, in accordance with good oil industry and with its own manual of procedures. The company is fully aware of the contents of the report and had the opportunity to submit additional documents and records in order to clarify some issues raised in the Agency’s investigation.

For the 25 (twenty five) irregularities during the investigation, the company was regularly assessed. According to Law 9.847/99, the limit of the fine that can be applied is $ 50,000,000.00 (fifty million). Once the investigation was complete, the ANP is continuing the prosecution of the proceedings, which will be completed in the next 30 (thirty) days.

The research team, composed entirely by servants of ANP, was based on verified facts and records seized at the headquarters of Chevron aboard the Frade FPSO and rig Sedco 706, which performed the drilling of the well at the time of the accident. After appropriating these documents during the investigation, the ANP could analyze in detail the events and identify the causes that led to the spilling of approximately 3,700 barrels of oil, at a distance of about 120 km off the coast of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

In summary, it was found that: (i) Chevron was not able to correctly interpret the geology and the local fluid dynamics, although there are 62 wells drilled in the Frade Field, and evaluated, the wrong way, the model of reservoir pressure in the N560 region where the kick, (ii) the passage of the pressurization of the reservoir reached the well drilling was caused by Chevron itself, through the injection well 8-FR-29D-RJS, which artificially created the conditions for the accident came to fruition (iii) the company dismissed the results of tests of resistance training three previously drilled wells in the same region, which indicate the need for amendment of the project, (iv) Chevron contradicted its own manual control wells, using an uncertainty of less than the pore pressure for a well established investigative, (v) the settlement of the last shoe with shallow (600 meters from the seabed), the situation that presented itself, contributed to the lack of the well could have the result leakage through the seabed, and (vi) although there is strong evidence of an underground blowout, Chevron took to recognize the situation, resulting in the initial adoption of methodology ineffective to control the well. Chevron had identified the underground blowout immediately, the volume of oil released at sea would have been significantly lower.

Thus, there is no doubt that if Chevron had properly managed the uncertainties of geology, the risk analyzes performed in accordance with the rules and respected the basic assumptions of safety, the accident could have been avoided.

Subsea World News Staff , July 20, 2012;  Image: ANP