Fire on Azerbaijan oil rig still on, search for missing continues (UPDATE 2 )

Oil&Gas Materials 7 December 2015 12:17 (UTC +04:00)
None of those missing after the accident on Guneshli offshore field have been found so far.

Details added (first version posted on 11:14)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.7


None of those missing after the accident on Guneshli offshore field have been found so far, The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) said.

There was received an information about detecting lifejackets on the coast of Buzovna township, chief engineer of SOCAR's Azneft production association Balamirza Alirahimov said.

"People were sent there. But it turned out that these are the jackets of fishermen," he said.

Alirahimov said that the fire on the platform at Guneshli field is still going on, adding that the waves reaching 3.5 meters hamper extinguishing the fire.

Currently, the special headquarters located on the platform #5 is discussing the further activities taking into account the speed and direction of the wind, he added.

The chief engineer noted that the search work is coordinated at government level with the countries of the Caspian Sea region.

"All information from these countries is received by the State Border Guard Service and Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan," said Alirahimov. "Once we receive information about the missing, we will react properly."

Further, Alirahimov said that the fire has damaged only a part of the platform, therefore, SOCAR specialists will assess the possibility of restoring it.

"If it is possible, the damaged equipment and constructions will be replaced with new ones and it will be possible to drill new wells from the platform," he said.

The chief engineer noted that the daily production on the platform totaled 900 tons of oil and 1.8 million cubic meters of gas.

As a result of a strong storm on Dec.4 at 17:40 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours), a high-pressure underwater gas pipeline was damaged which caused a fire at Guneshli field of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.

Large-scale rescue operation resulted in 33 people being rescued, while body of one oil worker was recovered. Currently, 29 people are listed as missing.