Top 10 World’s Catastrophic Accidents

Numerous miles below the surface of the ocean are where offshore accidents in oil and gas industry exploration occur. In addition to requiring extremely sophisticated technology, oil platforms can be hazardous environments with a variety of environmental risks. Well drilling dates back thousands of years.

The first recorded incident was in China in 347 AD. Since then, there have been several mishaps that have had a detrimental effect on both the environment and human life. On the plus side, though, almost all accidents have prompted safety evaluations and contributed to the advancement of safety measures and apparatus.


We’ve compiled a list of them below of the 10 devastating oil rig incidents to highlight the potential dangers in this sector.


167 of the 226 people on board perished in the Piper Alpha catastrophe, making it by far the worst offshore oil rig accident in history. The station in the North Sea off the coast of the United Kingdom was producing about 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day before the event, or 10% of the country’s total oil output. But in 1988, a fatal miscommunication resulted in an error of judgment.

A crucial safety valve was taken out of a gas pump early on July 6th, and the unit was put under rigorous lockdownThis resulted in a persistent gas leak and an enormous fire that totally destroyed the platform. To make matters worse, the crew was ill-prepared for handling this kind of situation, and their fear was the reason that many of them lost their lives. Only 61 of the crew members managed to escape alive, and it ultimately took three weeks to contain the fire.


During that period, the semi-submersible platform in Scotland known as Alexander L. Phillips Petroleum ran the rig while Stavanger Drilling, a Norwegian business, owned it. But, on that fatal day, strong winds and enormous waves caused one of the bracings supporting the five-legged platform structure to break. The entire building tipped around thirty degrees before one last cable steadied it. .

As a result, the platform completely capsized and plunged into the deep depths, trapping several of the workers within. 123 out of the 212 laborers perished. The examination that followed found that there was a fatigue fracture in the weld of an instrumental connection on the bracing that had gone unnoticed. This was a very minor issue that eventually had fatal results

3) SEACREST DRILLSHIP, November 3, 1989

Under the name Scan Queen, the Seacrest belonged to the Unocal Corporation. The ship was drilling at the Platong oil field, 430 kilometers south of Bangkok in the South China Sea, when Typhoon Gay struck with winds as high as 40 feet and gusts over 100 knots. The following day, the drillship was reported missing, and a search aircraft discovered it capsized on November 5. Investigators claim that because the rig sank so quickly, the 91 crew members died before they could take action or signal for help.

Accidents in Oil and Gas Industry
Accidents in Oil and Gas Industry

4) OCEAN RANGER OIL RIG, February 15, 1982

Offshore drilling rig Ocean Ranger was semi-submersible. Even though it belonged to the Ocean Drilling and Exploration Company (ODECO), Mobil Oil of Canada had contracted it to explore the Hibernia Field. At the time, it was one of the largest rigs in the world, able to work up to 1,500 feet below and dig 25,000 feet beneath the seabed. However, during a storm, the upper deck and chain locker flooded, which resulted in a loss of buoyancy and the rig tipping over. The 84 workers on board perished in the icy waters.


The American drillship Glomar Java Sea, owned by Global Marine Inc., disappeared in the South China Sea during a tropical cyclone.
. It took a week for search and rescue boats to find the debris, which was located around 300 feet below the surface. There were 42 Americans, 34 Chinese, 4 Britons, and 1 Australian on board. When Storm Lex moved toward the drillship from the east, it stopped activities and reported to the Global Marines Texas office that gusts over 75 knots were occurring over the bow.

Forty-five crew members are still missing and assumed dead; just 36 bodies have ever been retrieved since the main office abruptly lost touch with the ship.

6) BOHAI 2 OIL RIG, November 25, 1979

In the Gulf of Bohai, which separates China and Korea, was the Bohai 2 oil rig, which was the oldest Chinese-owned oil rig in service at the time. A strong storm struck the rig on November 25, 1979, while it was being towed. Strong gusts caused the ventilation pump to break, opening a sizable hole in the deck that was soon filled with water. The rig finally capsized as a result of the floods and the unfavorable weather at the time.

Not only could the accompanying tow boat only save four of the 76 workers on board, but the crew members themselves lacked adequate training on emergency evacuation protocols and the usage of lifesaving equipment. Subsequent analyses revealed that the deck apparatus had been improperly stored prior to hauling; if it had, it probably would have survived. Eventually, in 1981, the Yuntai Salvage Company employed explosives to recover the submerged rig.


In the Campos Basin, close to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Enchova Central Platform was in operation on August 16, 1984, when a blowout resulted in an explosion and ensuing fire on the platformA helicopter or lifeboat rescue rescued the majority of the crew members involved from the wreckage. However, 42 other workers weren’t that fortunate and perished.

The failure of a lifeboat’s lowering mechanism was the cause of 36 of these deaths. The boat ended up hanging vertically after the bow hook broke and the supporting cables collapsed, sending it down twenty meters into the ocean. When they had no other option than to jump from the platform into the water, six additional workers lost their lives. Amazingly, it wasn’t until 18 months later, after another incident like this one, that the platform changed.


Mumbai High Oil Field was home to the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) of India, which ran the Bombay High North platform.
. However, the support ship Samudra Suraksha struck it on the day of the tragedy after being driven near the platform by powerful surges. At least one of the platform’s gas export risers leaked and later exploded as a result of the support vessel striking itIn addition to killing 22, the fire also badly damaged the Samudra Suraksha and the Noble Charlie Yester, a jack-up rig that was working close to the BHN platform.
. Additionally, it resulted in a massive accident in the oil and gas industry, resulting in the daily loss of 120,000 barrels of oil and 4.4 million cubic meters of gas. ONGC started a

Accidents in Oil and Gas Industry
Accidents in Oil and Gas Industry

9) USUMACINTA JACK-UP: October 23, 2007

The Usumacinta jack-up platform and the PEMEX-operated Kab-101 platform collided in the Gulf of Mexico, causing this catastrophe. The latter’s cantilever deck struck the Usumacinta production tree as a result of storm conditions that produced waves as high as eight meters and gusts as strong as 130 km/hThe Usumacinta’s crew attempted to shut the safety valves on two of the platform’s producing wells, which resulted in an accident in Oil and Gas industry.
They were unable to totally seal them off, though, and the leak that resulted finally lit a fire on the platform. Another worker who vanished during the rescue efforts was also thought to be dead. Of the people who died during the evacuation, 21 were verified deceased.

10) C.P. BAKER DRILLING Barge, June 30, 1964

There was also the C.P. Baker Drilling Barge disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. During its employment for drilling operations, the barge had a blowout. The main deck doors were left open, allowing water to seep in and contaminate the whole ship.The barge quickly lost power throughout, and a few minutes after the blast, an explosion caused the ship to burst into flames.

Out of the forty-three personnel on board, just twenty-two made it out alive by diving into the ocean. Thirteen people were missing, thought to be dead, and eight more were confirmed deceased.

Reference by

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top