You are on page 1of 13


A Presentation on




Introduction - History
Construction details/ Platform specifications
Causative Events
The Accident
Lessons learnt/ Remediations
Legacy of Accident
Current technology

Introduction- Alexander Kielland Platform

Prod. Platform

Alexander L.
Kielland Platform


Norwegian Pentagon type semi-submersible rig, named after Norwegian writer

Alexander Lange Kielland
Owner - A. Gowart-Olsen A/S
Operated by Stavanger drilling company of Norway
Built as MODU by Compagnie Francaise dEntreprises Mtalliques (CFEM),
Dunkerque, France.
At time of disaster it was on hire to US Phillips petroleum company.
Launched on the 5th June 1976
Capsized on the 27th March 1980
Place - Ekofisk field, North Sea

Construction Details/Platform

Platform was a MODU, also known as a FLOTEL(Floating Hotel)

Length of about 338ft(103m) and beam size of about 325ft(99m)

Had a maximum accomodation capacity of about 386 persons.

Platform had seven 50 man life boats and twenty 10 man rafts.

At time of capsize platform contained about 212 people.

Presence of a hydrophone port in the bracing tube

Causative Events
1. No Sabotage

What then is the cause

2. No blowout

3. No overload due to
mooring forces!

Causative Event
Initial causes:

Unnoticed crack in weld of instrument connecting

bracing during design
Improper routine maintenance scheme.

Subsequent Causes:

Fatigue Failure

Fatigue crack growth in brace D6 initiating from preexisting cracks in the fillet welds between a
hydrophone support and the brace
Final, mainly ductile, fracture of brace D6
Rupture/collapse in the other 5 braces.
loss of column D

Gradual Capsize of

Causative Events.
Technical Causes

fatigue failure of one brace-initiated by a

gross fabrication defect

Human and organizational Factors

ultimate progressive failure of braces

progressive flooding

inadequate evacuation (e.g. lifeboats) and

rescue operation

fabrication defect due to -bad weldinginadequate inspection

no fatigue design check carried out
codes did not require structural
robustness (damage -tolerance)
damage stability rules did not cover loss
of a column
failure to shut doors, ventilators etc.
contributed to the rapid flooding and
evacuation not planned for an accident of
this kind
lack of life boats, survival suits
long mobilizing time for rescue

The Accident

Early Indicators:

Driving rain, mist , wind conditions at about 40

knots(70km/h), Wave up to 12m high

Total brace breakage occurred at about


A total of about 123 lives was lost.

89 survivors were recorded.

There was total loss of Platform.

Lessons Learned/ Remediations

Proper rig design should be carried out, in as much as welding and material part also plays a part in
the disaster.
Proper Maintenance scheme should be carried out, as there was no annual maintenance carried out
in the failed portion to indicate the presence of the cracks.
The stability and buoyancy aspects were inadequate, the design did not consider attachments to
highly stressed braces such as D6 as important. Hydrophone attachment's and its effects on braces
was also overlooked. All these are therefore to be put in consideration whiles designing.
Safety codes should include structural robustness( damage- tolerance)
Proper Evacuation procedures should be incorporated in design.
The evacuation was not planned for an accident of this kind, as there was:
- lack of life boats, survival suits
- long mobilizing time for rescue vessels/helicopters.

Legacy of Accident

The accident Served as one of the worst offshore platform capsize as a 123 lives were lost.
The accident necessitated the need for North Sea offshore installations to tighten their command
organization, by identifying a clear authority who would order abandonment in case of emergency.
Other related accidents include:
Ocean Ranger capsize in similar weather conditions off the Newfoundland coast.
The Drillmaster drilling rig of the same design and construction as the Alexander L. Kielland. Originally
built in 1973 by CFEM in Le Havre, France.


SPIE Oil & Gas Maintenance Services.

OHSAS safety codes and maintenance standards.
(For proper routine maintenance)