Welding Operation Ignites Condensate

Effective Date: 11/14/1975

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

Notice No. 032

November 14, 1975

OCS Operations Safety Alert

Welding Operation Ignites Condensate

A fire recently occurred on an offshore production platform during welding operations.

The living quarters of a workover rig were being prepared for removal by cutting the holdown welds with a burning torch. Simultaneous with the burning operation water from the living quarters storage tank was being drained into the drain pan under the gas separator on the cellar deck. Condensate in the pan lines was displaced by the water and accumulated in the pan. Slag from the burning operation fell into the drain pan and ignited the condensate. The fire was quickly extinguished, resulting in only minor damage to the platform and no injuries to personnel.

To prevent the recurrence of this type of accident the operator is taking the following action prior to welding operations in addition to following safer welding procedures:

1. Clean all pans and take the blowcase out of service.

2. Recheck all pans for flammable accumulations after draining any fluids into the pan system.

[signed] D.J. Bourgeois for

D.W. Solanas

Oil and Gas Supervisor

Field Operations

Gulf of Mexico Area