Location

Chicago, Illinois

Session Start Date

4-29-2013

Session End Date

5-4-2013

Abstract

The deltaic plains of the Niger River are composed mostly of Pleistocene sediments. On the occurrence of low stands of the sea level due to eustatic changes, the sediments were exposed to temperature fluctuations during the Quaternary period, leading to strata sequence generated in these plains that allowed strong layers of soil to overlie weaker layers of the same age. Most of the onshore explorations for oil and gas in Nigeria take place within these plains of the Niger. A well was to be drilled in search of oil and gas in allocation within these plains. As often done, a reinforced concrete slab was constructed for the drilling platform to support the drilling rig and the ancillary tools. The drilling operation commenced with the installation of a conductor casing 750mm diameter and 105m long. The drilling proceeded without any adverse event until a depth of 1000m was attained. At this depth the drilling bit got stuck in the hole and all attempts to retrieve the bit and the drilling string failed. The frantic lifting attempts inadvertently made the cellar slab to provide the reaction system for the applied uplift loads. A severe damage was caused to the cellar slab. Further attempts eventually caused the collapse of the drilling platform. This paper presents the records and events that led to the collapse of the drilling platform, the findings of the post-failure investigation and the proffered solution for the reconstruction of the platform.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Seventh Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

4-29-2013

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2013 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Apr 29th, 12:00 AM May 4th, 12:00 AM

Punch-Through Foundation Failure of Oil Drilling Platform in the Deltaic Plain of the Niger River

Chicago, Illinois

The deltaic plains of the Niger River are composed mostly of Pleistocene sediments. On the occurrence of low stands of the sea level due to eustatic changes, the sediments were exposed to temperature fluctuations during the Quaternary period, leading to strata sequence generated in these plains that allowed strong layers of soil to overlie weaker layers of the same age. Most of the onshore explorations for oil and gas in Nigeria take place within these plains of the Niger. A well was to be drilled in search of oil and gas in allocation within these plains. As often done, a reinforced concrete slab was constructed for the drilling platform to support the drilling rig and the ancillary tools. The drilling operation commenced with the installation of a conductor casing 750mm diameter and 105m long. The drilling proceeded without any adverse event until a depth of 1000m was attained. At this depth the drilling bit got stuck in the hole and all attempts to retrieve the bit and the drilling string failed. The frantic lifting attempts inadvertently made the cellar slab to provide the reaction system for the applied uplift loads. A severe damage was caused to the cellar slab. Further attempts eventually caused the collapse of the drilling platform. This paper presents the records and events that led to the collapse of the drilling platform, the findings of the post-failure investigation and the proffered solution for the reconstruction of the platform.