Federal Records Show Corrosion and Leakage Problems on Offshore Platforms

The Center for Biological Diversity (Tucson, Arizona, USA) recently revealed federal inspection records and accident reports of ExxonMobil offshore drilling platforms on the California coast. Obtained by the Center through a Freedom of Information Act request, theseoffshore accident reports detail corrosion and leakage problems at several of the company’s drilling platforms, including three platforms that were shut down by the 2015 Refugio Oil Spill that deposited 142,800 gal (540,556 L) of crude oil into an area north of Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara, California, USA.

ExxonMobil idled those three offshore drilling platforms, along with four other platforms, after the May 2015 rupture of the Plains All American Pipeline near Refugio State Beach. Shortly before that incident, however, federal officials who inspected Platform Hondo, one of ExxonMobil’s Pacific platforms, discovered “numerous corrosion issues” and non-compliant components. An earlier inspection also revealed corrosion, failed gas detectors and “leakage rates higher than the maximum allowable,” according to federal reports.

In addition, the reports indicate that all three of ExxonMobil’s Pacific platforms had significant safety issues, including an early 2015 gas leak that spewed more than 120,000 gal (454, 249 L) of oil into the coastal environment. A federal inspection of another Pacific platform, Platform Harmony, following the Refugio Oil Spill found corrosion and electrical issues throughout the structure. The reports also catalogue workplace injuries on the platforms, including two separate accounts of back injuries caused by spilled hydraulic fluid on the deck.

To see details of ExxonMobil’s Pacific platforms, click here.

Source: The Center for Biological Diversity, www.biologicaldiversity.org.