Qatar offshore rig catches fire, 6 workers injured

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Fire broke out on an offshore rig run by the subsidiary of a Qatar-based drilling company, injuring six workers, the firm said Monday, in the second disruption within a year aboard one its platforms.

Gulf International Services, partly owned by state-run Qatar Petroleum, announced the fire at its GDI-3 rig in a statement published on the Qatar Stock Exchange. It said workers had been preparing to move the Gulf Drilling International rig to a new location and later repaired it.

"Injured personnel consisting of six GDI employees were immediately transported to nearby hospitals and most of them (were) discharged after having received treatment," the statement said.

The statement did not say when the fire started, where the rig was or how much it cost to repair it. Phone numbers listed for the company and its affiliate rang unanswered Monday afternoon and officials did not immediately respond to email queries about the fire. The state-run Qatar News Agency reported the blaze Tuesday night, without offering any additional details.

Shares in GIS dropped 2 percent Monday on the Qatar Stock Exchange to close at 37.45 Qatari riyals ($10.28).

This is the second major incident to strike a GIS rig. In July 2015, the newly built Qatari offshore rig Rumailah suffered what the company described as a "punch-through incident" while in the al-Shaheen oil field off Qatar's northeastern coast. Norway's Aftenbladet newspaper published pictures purporting to show the accommodation unit listing and partially submerged after it collapsed into the water, its legs bent at an angle and small orange boats at its side. No one was injured in that incident.


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