By the OGJ Online Staff
HOUSTON, Nov. 1 -- Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA rebutted allegations by the Rio de Janeiro Chapter of the Regional Council of Engineering and Architecture about the loss of the P-36 platform.
The council recently released an analysis that said administrative errors by Petrobras contributed to the explosions that sank the P-36 platform last March (OGJ Oct. 30, 2001).
Petrobras said, "Contrary to what the president of CREA-RJ affirmed, at no moment was Platform P-36 considered an unit solely meant for drilling. As from the project�s very conception, it was designed as a drilling and production platform.
"The works carried out in Canada comprised increasing the platform�s processing capacity, a practice widely adopted by the international oil and gas industry.
"At no time and in no way did Petrobras�s management determine the anticipation of start of production by P-36, in order to reach the company�s production targets."
Petrobras earlier created a commission of inquiry, including members of its internal safety board, the oil workers' union, and the Engineering Department of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. The company retained Det Norske Veritas of Norway to support the investigation.
"During this process, 64 interviews were carried out - including members of the crew which were on board the platform at the occasion of the accident as well as other technicians related to the platform operation - collecting and analyzing extensive data concerning the platform, including service logs, alarm and fire registries, videotapes, photographs, and other documents.
"A platform of similar size and build was visited in the United Kingdom. Additional technical studies were hired and carried out, in order to analyze tank deformation, explosions and gas dispersion on board the platform.
"After 90 days of work, the commission presented a detailed diagnosis of the causes for the accident, which was widely made known to the science communities and to the world petroleum industry. This diagnosis concluded that the accident with Platform P-36 resulted from a combination of several factors, and that it would be impossible to associate such factors to the findings alleged by the president of CREA-RJ.
"The Brazilian Navy and the National Petroleum Agency also carried out a meticulous joint investigation, arriving at conclusions that were coincident with the report issued by Petrobras� Commission of Inquiry," the company said.