Fire breaks out on drillship in Sri Lanka
Posted on February 17th, 2022

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A drillship owned by Aquadrill Offshore, formerly known as Seadrill Partners, has caught fire while docked at a port in Sri Lanka.

Polaris drillship; Courtesy of Hambantota International Port
Polaris drillship; Courtesy of Hambantota International Port

The Hambantota International Port Emergency Response Unit (ERU) together with the port’s Quality, Health, Safety & Environment Dept. (QHSE), and Port Control, responded to a fire that occurred onboard the drillship Polaris, on Tuesday evening, 15 February 2022.

According to the Hambantota International Port, the ship’s crew had alerted Port Control for assistance in dousing the sudden fire that had broken out in the ship’s emergency generator room.

The ERU’s fire trucks arrived on the scene within minutes of being notified, assisting the crew to quickly contain the fire with charged fire hoses. The respective ERU teams brought the fire fully under control within 33 minutes of their arrival. They were able to prevent serious damage to the drillship or its surrounding area, the port said in the statement.

The joint effort of this venture reflects professionalism and assurance to HIP port users and stakeholders of optimum safety and proactive response to unforeseen events related in maritime operations,” said Tissa Wickramasinghe, COO of HIPG.

The 14-year-old drillship called at the Hambantota Port for a layup on 11 January 2021 and was at Berth 6 when the fire occurred. The ship is expected to remain in port until June 2022.

Courtesy of Hambantota International Port

Seadrill Partners became Aquadrill last year following an exit from bankruptcy. As part of the plan, new management services agreements were entered into for the management of the company’s offshore drilling units. As a result, Aquadrill’s 2008-built Polaris drillship, previously known as West Polaris, is managed by Vantage Drilling, which is actively bidding the rig for new employment.

Offshore Energy has reached out to Aquadrill and Vantage, seeking confirmation and further details about the incident but we are yet to receive a response.

Earlier this year, Aquadrill and Vantage reached an agreement for Vantage to manage and market another rig, the Aquarius. The 2009-built rig was previously managed by Odfjell Drilling.

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