The OAG to review the Kielland catastrophe

Alexander Kielland Oil rig salvageThe salvage operation after the semi-submersible drilling rig Alexander L. Kielland capssized and sank at the Ekofisk field in 1980. Photo: Erik Thorberg / NTB / Scanpix

The OAG to review the Kielland catastrophe

The review gives hope for final answers to the many questions regarding what actually happened when the drilling platform «Alexander L. Kielland» capsized and sank.

39 years have gone by since the platform Alexander L. Kielland capsized. It is now decided that the OAG will go through the accident that cost 123 persons their lives once more.

The Control and Constitutional Committee of the Parliament, on Friday, decided that the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) should embark on the task of reviewing the accident once more. It is the Norwegian Parliament that formally gives the mission to the OAG in June, According to Stavanger Aftenblad.

Odd Kristian Reme lost a brother in the catastrophe. He is also the chair of the Kielland network.

“It gives hope for final answers to the questions, of the survivors and those bereft, regarding what actually happened,” Reme states in a press release.



Facts about the Alexander L. Kielland accident

  • The semi-submersible drilling rig Alexander L. Kielland was used as a residential platform on the Ekofisk field in the North Sea.
  • In the evening of March 27th, 1980, one of the five support pillars of the platform broke off during a storm. The platform capsized after about 20 minutes.
  • 123 of the 212 on board died, some of which were never found.
  • The accident is the worst catastrophe in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea since World War II.
  • The triggering cause of the accident was material fatigue in a support bar in the platform’s supporting structure, according to the original investigation report.
  • The accident led to a number of changes in the requirements for construction, testing and safety equipment on oil platforms.
  • Not long after Alexander L. Kielland capsized, her sister rig, Henrik Ibsen, suffered a jammed ballast valve, causing her to list twenty degrees. It was later righted again. Approximately 18 months later, Ocean Ranger capsized in similar weather conditions off the Newfoundland coast. An investigation into the cause of the Ocean Ranger disaster by the US Coast Guard established that structural failure was not a factor.

Further read:  Wikipedia: Alexander L. Kielland

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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