Drilling Ahead

World Oilfield Forum

Chevron/KS Endeavour Platform On Fire Off Nigeria Coast-Possible Blowout

1/16/12 2:00pm

The KS Endeavor drilling platform has caught fire while drilling for Chevron off the coast of Nigeria, leaving at least 2 unaccounted for at this time.

 The explosion occured between 4:30-5:00am Monday morning local time.Those missing include 1 Nigerian and an expatriate. An estimated 213 workers present at the facility during the explosion were reportedly evacuated from the scene. "We immediately flew out people to the nearby North Apoi platform, and have been helping those needing any medical assistance," Chevron spokesman Scott Walker said.
Chevron has not stated what caused the fire but a spokesman for the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation believes a "gas kick" was responsible. The KS Endeavor was drilling in the Pennington Field in Bayelsa state waters.

Other conflicting reports from locals claimed that the explosion was due gas leakage from the drilling platform while others reported that the explosion occurred from a new gas well head at Funawa 5 along the Koluama river.Still other report claims that the explosion occurred following a fire from an oil barge under repair.

According to local sources, “Up till now the fire is still burning. The entire rig has been burnt down. They tried to stop it but it went out of control."

The K.S. Endeavor platform is leased to Chevron from owner FODE Drilling Company and is capable of drilling up to 30,000' in up to 300' of water.

Here is more technical information on the KS Endeavor Platform.

If anyone has photos please send them to curtis@drillingahead.com or share them here.

 UPDATE: We have just received the following information in email

Another disaster in the industry that happened today with a local jack up rig.The rig belongs to FODE and was built in 2010. Rig was drilling for Chevron.Incident happened at a depth of 11,000 ft last night, 3 missing. Accurate location of the RIG is: 04° 20 N/ 005° 45 E Fire on the RIG KS ENDEAVOUR - CHEVRON Escravos The RIG has disappeared 


Chevron / KS Endeavor Platform BurningChevron / KS Endeavor Platform BurningChevron / KS Endeavor Platform Burning

UPDATE 1/17/12

We have some basic but unconfirmed information arriving in email.

The reports are that 2 people are missing. 1 a French Toolpusher and 1 Indian driller.

The background on this disaster is that the KS Endeavor took a kick around 3 days earlier with 13.5 mud but for whatever reason they did not weight up & kill the well. (possibly for fear of breaking down the formation)

After 3 days gas migrated up outside the casing and ignited. Apparently they spent quite a bit of time monitoring well pressures over this period.


UPDATE 1/20/12

Chevron has discontinued the search for the 2 missing workers and they are now presumed dead. Work has begun to drill a relief well to kill this well and will take some time. Below are satellite images taken today over the rig fire location. Oil on the surface is now clearly leaking from the well.

(Please click the images to enlarge)

Chevron Rig Fire

Chevron Rig Fire

Talk About This Here

Comment by Steve Walker on January 16, 2012 at 7:51pm

Looks like we need to go back to some of the old-time drilling. Some of us old timers need to go back out to look after these rigs. All this high-tech equipment doesn't seem to work as good as just plain old-looking, listing, smelling and common sense. I got my rest while on my rigs after breakfast till noon, maybe a couple of hours in the afternoon. Then I was up and all around all night, when tripping pipe, back and forth to the trip tank and the shaker keeping my eyes on everything I could. I do not know how it is now but we let any one shut us down with no question if they though some thing wrong. It doesn't look like that is done today. I did work for a major company, but I had drilling, work over and cement company experience before going on into drilling with the major. I just didn't have a BS degree of any kind, and today that is what the majors want, that maybe the reason there are more rigs blowing out now. More common sense and less college, may save more lives and equipment. 

Comment by steve hartono on January 16, 2012 at 9:56pm


I disagree in your statement that college grads are the cause of the more blow-outs. I agree that common sense is important in saving lives and equipment. And, working your way from the bottom up is real important


Comment by Kenneth R. McDonald on January 16, 2012 at 10:23pm
One thing is all you need to dill these days is know how to operate a joy stick and push buttons
Comment by Kenneth Retherford on January 16, 2012 at 11:00pm

They may teach the dynamics and mathematics in class but, no one can teach how to feel and listen to what the rig and hole are saying to you. If you and your crew don't know the signs of problems and don't know what to do to avert it, you are asking for trouble.

Comment by Nic Morris on January 16, 2012 at 11:40pm

Just as many blow outs back in the day as there is now, maybe alittle more now because there are alot more wells being drilled per year then there was 20 years ago. But does seem alot of guys are getting to comfortable, if everything is done right and people pay attention then there shouldnt be any.

Comment by steve hartono on January 16, 2012 at 11:52pm

Paying attention to what we are doing, and never assume.  

Comment by Larry "fud" Thomas on January 17, 2012 at 1:56am
It does not have any thing to do with new are old oilfield paying attention and learning while u are comeing up from a roughneck it dont matter what u are on joy stick or crowbar it's all drilling
Comment by Dandyson W. on January 17, 2012 at 2:12am

I don`t agree that college grads are usually the cause, blow-out is part of the business that results if proper monitoring and standard procedures are not applied. some times, operations are routine that people pay less attention. We need to pay critical attention to every operation whether routine or not.

Comment by Mike Swank on January 17, 2012 at 5:20am
Some of joystick drillers get no respect
Comment by nkaya burel on January 17, 2012 at 5:33am

i agree about what Dandyson said. in this business the majority of desasters are human mistakes.


Comment by Hussain Ali Mohamed on January 17, 2012 at 5:58am

 i am a petroleum engineer since 1974 and agree that with the scientific degree u have to have semantic skill to understand the oil well speech, because before blow out there will be   many indirect signs. so better teaching drilling hands how to listen to oil well talks 


Comment by King Kerry on January 17, 2012 at 9:06am

experience is the only way to know! To many inexperienced people wanting to play roughneck. Does seem like this is happening more and more these days. Turn it to the right! This is why I stay on land I can't drink all that water.  

Comment by Drilling Ahead on January 17, 2012 at 11:40am

UPDATE 1/17/12

We have some basic but unconfirmed information arriving in email.

The reports are that 2 people are missing. 1 a French Toolpusher and 1 Indian driller.

The background on this disaster is that the KS Endeavor took a kick around 3 days earlier with 13.5 mud but for whatever reason they did not weight up & kill the well. (possibly for fear of breaking down the formation)

After 3 days gas migrated up outside the casing and ignited. Apparently they spent quite a bit of time monitoring well pressures over this period.

If you have information/photos or video please send to curtis@drillingahead.com. We keep all source information 100% private.

Comment by justin farmer on January 17, 2012 at 11:57am

Every one has an import role in the day to day operations of a well being drilled. You have to look at the whole picture from a 360 degree view. No one can tell whats going to happen while drilling, But all of us do Know what can happen. In my experience i have seen very good and very educated book smart engineers in the Oil industry fail at drilling, but onther person be completly sucsessful with the same project who had the life time of drilling and learning on the rigs as his learning and back ground not a class room full of theory and mechanics and a book that says this is how it works. because lets face it the old guys started this we have to continue it so some times the old way is the best way but you have to put a modern    twist to it.

Comment by Steve Walker on January 17, 2012 at 1:55pm

I did not mean the college grads are the reason for the problem. Most of the time the oil companies fell to train these people before putting them in charge of jobs. Most want to go strait by what some professor taught them in class, and these people have never seen a rig much less worked on one. We tried to get our company to send them out in the field for a year or two before sitting them in a office to start tell a rig supper what to do. Learn the job before trying to tell some one how to do the job.

Comment by Odion Ikhajiagbe on January 18, 2012 at 10:44am
I sincerely disagree with Steve's comment fresh grads are the reasons for more wells getting blown off.

No Driiling Contractor will spend close to $300 million on a Jack-up and put a Driller (whether young or old) on a joystick without having to start from a rostabout position ad climp his way up.

i think you will agree with me, the younger generation has drllled more challenging wells than old-timer - operators are finding oil/gas well in a more challenging environments (HPHT & High H2S Concentration Environments).
At a matter of fact, Operators are now drilling deeper wells (ERD), deepwater wells and more explorations wells with little or no offset data- drilling blindly is the word.

probably old-timers were usually involved in Conventional Wells with lots of offset data.

That being said, grads with a bit of experince is the way to go nowadays.

At the end of the experience is the best teacher.
Comment by Steve Walker on January 18, 2012 at 1:31pm

Odion I am not talking about the Driller's. I am talking about the Company personal. That is true a rig hand starts out at the lowest position and works to the top, as it should be. Company people come out of school, go to work in the office and are put in charge of something they nothing about. People on the rigs do not know how much experience there company man has. Most of your drillers and Tool pushers will not question what a company man says. Most of the rig people have more knowledge about how to drill a well than 2 company engineers, Company engineer do not write there  drilling procedures, they go to a file and pick one that fits the well that is going to be drilled. They add in there numbers and locations and say it is done. Its not there fault either,it is the fault of there boss who tells them they are the boss you don't listen to those rig people, they are just rig workers. they don't have your education. Live and work strictly by the book and you die by the book.

Comment by Abimbola Dlynx on January 19, 2012 at 4:51pm

I hear the arguments put up above,...quite insightful.  However, someone once said "Good judgement comes from Experience and Experience comes from Bad judgement".  It's easy to sit and point fingers, however I'm sure everyone had to start as a 'worm'- rig crew, company man or whatever your position.

I'm Nigerian and was in Nigeria when this incident occurred, I still await further details of the incident before I make my argument. In the time being, let's all (rig crew, company man or drilling engineer) learn from this and apply more caution  during all rig operations.

Comment by Steve Walker on January 19, 2012 at 11:03pm

Abimbola you are correct that about good judgement. I can point fingers due to 31 years starting as a worm on a rig all the way to rig and field supt. Rig personal do start ate the bottom, company men now days start in the office after getting out of college. They spend a month or so training with another engineer that has been with the company 2 or 3 months longer than he/she, then they are ready to tell rig supers or rig tool pushers with 15 to 20 years experience what to do, because they are just high school grads. There are some companies sending them out to the rig and spend a hitch as a roustabout, floor hand, and working the pits. They learn so much they are experts, but they don't have to work to much cause the hands know he will be there boss next month. That is a joke of a training program also. I'm sorry if I hurt you college grads. feeling, but when you earn the respect of the men and women who work there but off to get some where and become specialist at there jobs and pay your dues by time served I will give you respect. I do respect your getting a degree but it does not give you knowledge to be boss.

Comment by George Okiemute Epia on January 20, 2012 at 3:17pm

I think the argument of Steve Walker is correct to large extent. Some Company men hardly take advice from supervisors of the rig crews, they operate in a master - servant relationship with the crews. 


The drilling contractors, sometimes do not have the right the right people too. They believe in already made people with nice VCs which in some cases are not true.


Lets not trade blame at this time but wait for the outcome of the investigation, which, all of us must learn from.



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