High Value Learning
  • Published: 29 Dec 2018

High Value Learning - Failure of cable connector during drill-line de-reeving

Cause & Consequence

  • Moving, flying or falling object

Description of Incident

A drilling maintenance crew were performing the operation to de-reeve a 1 3/8” steel drill line. This was part of a planned drill line cut operation to remove 2000ft of drill line from the draw works during a drilling shutdown period.

The drill line was being driven out by the draw works and then manually pulled through the travelling block and reeled onto an unpowered drum. The end of the drill line was attached to a double ended cable connector (snake) assembly with a 1” manila rope connected on the other end to allow respooling the drill line. As the operation was nearing completion the snake was passing out of the derrick structure through the deflector sheave on the outside of the derrick at the crown level the drill line end released from the snake and fell 142ft to the rig floor.

Two members of the drilling maintenance crew who were pulling down on the drill line and were directly below it and five other drilling crew members were involved in coiling the drill line on the drill floor to ease it on to the drum. When the two crew members pulling on the drill line drill line felt it go slack a warning was given and all members of the crew working on the drill floor moved quickly, via designated escape routes, to their pre-agreed safe locations.

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Good Practice Guidance

  • Ensure documented work procedure for the task is adhered to
  • Onshore planning stage should fully consider risks in documented drill line de-reeving task
  • Ensure as part of pre-job planning that all equipment is functioning correctly prior to commencement of task
  • Follow procedural information relating to ‘single use only’ for cable connector equipment

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