The Ocean Ranger Disaster

JoAnne Dodd

Abstract


In November 1980 the Ocean Ranger was the world's largest semi-submersible oil rig of its time and it was moved to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to commence the drilling of an exploration well in the Hibernia oil field. On February 14th, 1982 the Ocean Ranger would face and be defeated by a terrible storm at sea, resulting in the fatalities of the entire crew. It wasn't until after the disaster that it was concluded that the rig had several design flaws that contributed to the failure of the vessel to survive in the massive storm. Today these design flaws serve as lessons learned for other coastal and ocean structures.

The Ocean Ranger was constructed in 1976, in Hiroshima Japan. Weighting 25,000 tons, the oil rig was said to be built to withstand 190km/h winds and 34m waves approving the vessel for "unrestricted ocean operations."

Catastrophic events, such as the sinking of the Ocean Ranger, are nothing short of a nightmare and never are they intended by the engineers whom design these structures. Although engineers design to prevent catastrophes, it is the failures of the past that act as some of the best lessons learned for the design and safety of future builds. Highlighted in the following paper are the engineering flaws that led to the failure of the Ocean Ranger and took the lives of 84 crew.

Keywords


Case study, Ocean Ranger, ENGI 8751

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References


"Ocean Ranger oil platform disaster" The Energy Library, 2004-2009. [Online], Available: http://www.theenergylibrary.com/node/13089 [Accessed March 06, 2013]

"Grand Banks" The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2012. [Online], Available: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/grand-banks [Accessed March 3, 2013]

"The Grand Banks" Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. [Online], Available: http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/premier/gbanks.htm [Accessed March 3, 2013]

Ashley A. Clarke "Atlantic Canada's Offshore Fields" [Online], Available: http://www.atlanticbusinessmagazine.ca/mobile/issues/NR_v14n1/cover.php [Accessed March 3, 2013]

Mark Kirby "Hibernia Oil Field Relative to Newfoundland and St. John's" Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2010. [Online], Available: http://www.heritage.nf.ca/society/hibernia_map.html

[Accessed March 3, 2013]

Produced by Cinenova Productions for CTV and National Geographic US. Directed by Christopher Rowely. Written and researched by Mick Gzowski. "Ocean Ranger Disaster." [Online], Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc-gEtByAV4 [Accessed on March 3, 2013]

Keith Collier "The Loss of the Ocean Ranger, 15 February

" Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Website." [Online], Available: http://www.heritage.nf.ca/society/ocean_ranger.html [Accessed March 3, 2012].

Steve Lilley "System Failure Case Studies - Porthole to Failure" National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA), December 2011 Volume 5 Issue 12.[Online], Available: http://pbma.nasa.gov [Accessed March 6, 2012]


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