Vulnerability and imagination in the Snorre a gas blowout and recovery

Authors/others:Wackers, Ger (Narvik University College); Coeckelbergh, Mark (University of Twente)

The safety-critical work in the field of business performance optimization has created the conditions that led to a near-disastrous subsea rupture in 2004 during a slot recovery operation. The successful recovery depended on the imaginative capabilities of the platform crew in trying to decide the courses of action. Statoil lost control of a well on the Snorre A TLP on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) but the platform did not ignite. Followed by the safety procedures, oil production was shut down and main power was cut. Several safety regulations were violated and the main power was restored, with the multiple attempts to mix and pump drilling mud before finally destroying the well. The Snorre A incident provides evidence of an imaginative deficit and associated uncoupling of locally optimizing solutions at the corporate level. The result is a gradual deletion of technical system integrity concerns in the negotiation of solutions that restore, improve and optimize business performance.

Number of pages:9
Date of publication:1.2008
Journal title:World Oil
Peer reviewed:true
Publication Type:Article