Deepwater platform at Guneshli field has been burning for two days

Deepwater platform at Guneshli field has been burning for two days

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the General Prosecutor's Office summed up the results of a rescue operation carried out in connection with a fire that broke out on deep-water platform №10 at the Guneshli field.

According to their data, yesterday, at about 17:40, a support tube on the platform was torn due to a heavy storm, which resulted in damage to a gas pipeline running under a pressure of 110 atmospheres, which in turn caused a major fire.

To prevent further deterioration of the situation, all oil and gas communications systems leading to deepwater platform №10 were closed, and the exploitation of 28 oil and gas wells on the platform was suspended.

In accordance with the instructions and evacuation plans, as well as the threat of an explosion, workers of the platform went on two lifeboats, which had been lowered to a level of 10 meters from the water's surface.

After 15-25 minutes, the fire ship 'Whirlwind-9' of the Emergencies Ministry, which was on duty in the Gyueshli field, arrived on the scene and started a rescue operation, and after a short time the fire ship Whirlwind-5, the rescue ship Avior, and the towing ship Samir Guliyev arrived.

The ships Topaz-Diqnizi, Endeavour, Protector, and Lankaran, equipped with modern navigation systems, were also involved in rescue work and fire-fighting.

However, due to the heavy storm, none of them managed to moor to the platform, making it impossible to implement the lowering of lifeboats to the water and towing them to the ships.

In the morning the operation resumed, despite the unfavorable weather conditions.

At 08:02, two helicopters of the Ministry of Emergency Situations with 15 rescuers on board arrived at the scene, but due to the high temperatures caused by the fire they were unable to land on the platform. In this connection, the rescuers carried out landings on adjacent platforms №3 and №5.

Some time later, dividing into 2 groups, one on a helicopter of the 'AZAL' company, the second on the ship 'Muslim Magomayev' of the Caspian Shipping Company, they carried out the evacuation of 26 oil workers from a boat and three others from the platform itself.

Thus, in total, 32 people were evacuated, the body of another man was recovered from the water. At the present time, the fates of 30 more people remains unknown. The rescue operation continues.

As for the fire, it currently continues because of the residue of gas in the pipeline and technological systems. The fire is thought to have spread to the oil and gas wells.

In connection with this accident, President Ilham Aliyev ordered the creation of a state commission, headed by the Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, which is entrusted with investigation of the causes and circumstances of the incident.