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Big Orange/Ekofisk (2009)

The Big Orange XVIII well stimulation vessel collided with the unstaffed Ekofisk 2/4-W water injection facility in the early hours of 8 June 2009.

This article was originally published in
Safety - Status and Signals 2012-2013

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It only just avoided hitting Ekofisk 2/4-X and 2/4-C, passing under the bridge between these staffed installations before ramming 2/4-W. So the potential for deaths and/or injuries was high.

The direct cause of the accident was a failure to deactivate the autopilot before the vessel entered the safety zone around the North Sea field.

Nobody was injured, but the collision caused extensive material damage to both installation and vessel.

It is regarded as a major accident because of the big financial loss and because the integrity of several facilities was put at risk.