Sump Tank Fire -- Man Burned

Effective Date: 5/6/1975

U.S. Department of the Interior
Minerals Management Service
Gulf of Mexico OCS Region

Notice No. 023

May 6, 1975

OCS Operations Safety Alert

Sump Tank Fire -- Man Burned

A fire recently occurred on an offshore production platform when gas escapingfrom the top of an open sump tank ignited.

After swabbing a well, a wireline operator and helper were bleeding off aflowline and header through a hose into a sump tank which had the lid open. Agas operated sump pump was operating and the pump exhaust gas was beingdischarged into the sump tank. Gases escaping through the open lid of the sumptank ignited and the wireline helper working near the tank received minor burnsand second degree burns on his left hand and around his mouth. A nylon controlline located above sump tank ruptured from the heat of the fire and activatedthe platform emergency shutdown system. The cause of ignition is unknown. Thefire was quickly extinguished and platform damage was negligible.

To prevent a recurrence of this accident the operator plans to modify allsump tanks in the area as follows:

1. Install seals and locking devices on the lids.

2. Install a connection for attaching bleed-off hoses.

3. Install a gas vent line and route to a safe location.

[signature] D.W. Solanas

Oil and Gas Supervisor

Field Operations

Gulf of Mexico Area