Offshore Industry News

BSEE Panel Releases Investigation Report of Flowline Jumper Failure

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) released its panel investigation report on a July 24, 2020, incident that resulted in the release of approximately 479 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The incident occurred on the Katmai Field Well #1, operated by Fieldwood Energy, LLC. The well is located in about 2,082 feet of water on Green Canyon Area Block 40, approximately 140 miles offshore Louisiana.

The BSEE mission is to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement. The primary goal of every BSEE incident investigation is to determine the cause(s) of the incident. The agency can then work to minimize the likelihood that a similar incident will occur in the future.

A panel consisting of BSEE subject matter experts, engineers, inspectors, and specialized investigators conducted its investigation to determine the probable causes and contributing factors that led to the leak resulting from a flowline jumper failure and fracture of four of the eight flange fasteners at a flanged connection.

The investigation found that the fractured studs were composed of a corrosion-resistant nickel-based alloy, which are susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement in subsea environments. BSEE also found that, among other contributing factors, that a gap in the quality assurance/quality control process allowed for a non-compliance subsea flange faster installation. As a result of its investigation, BSEE issued a Safety Alert that includes recommendations that operators and contractors utilize an industry-knowledgeable metallurgist to evaluate all current and future subsea fasteners to verify fasteners are fit for service and not prone to Hydrogen Embrittlement (HE) or any other environmental cracking failures, share Subsea Leak Detection (SSLD) system learnings with industry, and emphasize that company, contract, and sub-contract personnel enact MOC when there are modifications associated with equipment, operating procedures, personnel changes, materials, and operating conditions.

To read more about the panel investigation, including BSEE’s recommendations, the full report can be found here.

Under authority outlined in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), BSEE conducts investigations and issues reports on deaths, serious injuries, and pollution events that occur as the result of offshore oil and gas operations. These investigations support Bureau-wide programs that promote safety, environmental protection, and resource conservation. More information and a list of previous investigations and incident reports can be found at our Safety & Incident Investigations website.

Our Partners

Frontiers in Marine Science

ECO Magazine is a marine science trade publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.


8502 SW Kansas Ave
Stuart, FL 34997

Newsletter Signup

The ECO Newsletter is a weekly email featuring the Top 10 stories of the past seven days, providing readers with a convenient way to stay abreast on the latest ocean science and industry news.