Dette var ingen liten platform.
det var selveste Storegut:
Blasts at world's biggest oil rig kill up to 10
Updated 4:12 PM ET March 15, 2001
By Nicolas Garcia
MACAE, Brazil (Reuters) - Three powerful blasts rocked the world's biggest offshore oil platform, a 40-story rig owned by Brazil's state oil giant Petrobras, possibly killing up to 10 people Thursday.
One person was killed and another nine were missing after three explosions ripped through the rig off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras said, the latest in a series of embarrassing accidents to plague Petrobras.
"As for the nine people missing, there is a very small chance that they will survive," Petrobras President Henri Philippe Reichstul said at a news conference in Macae, its headquarters for offshore operations in Rio.
Reichstul said the $350 million platform, the world's largest in terms of capacity, could yet sink.
"If the degree of listing increases we are going to lose the platform," he said, adding that the company would not know until Friday whether the rig would stabilize or sink.
It was not immediately clear what caused the blasts at the platform, located in the Roncador oil field 78 miles offshore in the Campos Basin, which produces more than three quarters of Brazil's crude oil.
Some 175 people were on the rig at the time of the first explosion, but survivors were transferred to a neighboring platform. A firefighting team of 25 people was left aboard.
The P-36 rig can produce up to 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day but after starting operations last year, it was only pumping out 80,000 bpd, or 5 percent of Brazil's output. All production was halted. Petrobras said it was poised to lose $50 million a month with the rig out of operation.
PETROBRAS STOCK HIT
Blue-chip Petrobras stock tumbled 6.7 percent to 50.40 reais Thursday.
"The company will have to substitute production with imported oil," said Catarina Pedrosa, an oil industry analyst at Bilbao Vizcaya brokerage.
The first explosion at the semi-submersible platform occurred shortly after midnight. Another, stronger blast hit 20 minutes later when firefighters had already started emergency works. It was followed by a third blast.
Judging from preliminary information, officials said, the blast occurred in one of the support columns.
The explosion was just the latest embarrassing incident at accident-prone Petrobras.
The United Oil Workers Federation (FUP) lashed out at Petrobras, accusing the company of putting its workers at risk through cost and personnel cuts. Some 81 workers have died in accidents over the last three years, union leaders said.
"It is a situation that shows an irresponsible average of two deaths a month," FUP leaders said in a statement, urging the country's 34,000 oil workers to join nationwide protests on Friday to demand better working conditions and safety.
In the last year and a half, 13 workers have been killed in 50 accidents in the Campos Basin alone, the union said.
Petrobras has also suffered from a series of highly publicized oil spills in the last couple of years, including an environmental disaster in Rio de Janeiro's picturesque bay. The company has announced heavy investments in safety and measures to protect the environment.
Campos Basin accounts for around 80 percent of Brazil's oil output. Petrobras lost its oil exploration monopoly in 1997, but remains the only company producing oil in Brazil. Foreign companies including Royal Dutch/Shell, Amerada Hess, Coastal Corp. and TotalFinaElf have all found initial signs of oil in exploratory wells in the country.