Drilling halted on Wintershall Dea field after rig accident

Drilling operations have been stopped and an investigation has been launched following a serious incident on the Seadrill-operated West Mira rig, which at the time was working for gas and oil producer Wintershall Dea on the Nova field in the North Sea.

Wintershall Dea Norge said on Tuesday March 23rd that there was an incident the previous Friday during a lifting operation on the West Mira, located on the Nova field. No personnel were injured and the well was secure, Wintershall Dea said, noting that it had mobilized its emergency response organization and notified the relevant authorities. The drilling operation had been stopped until further notice and an investigation into the “serious” incident was begun.

Wintershall Dea Norge said that, “while lowering a x-mas tree (sic) from the West Mira, the winch wire snapped when the tree was five metres below the sea surface. The x-mas tree sunk to the seafloor 368 metres below water level. Eight people were working in the area of the rig where the incident occurred in safe distance from moving equipment”.

A Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) was sent to the seafloor to assess the situation. The ROV survey showed no risk of discharge of well fluids or hydrocarbons and the tree had been localised on the template. The company said that the well was “under control and secured with three barriers”.