Alert 13 – 04 Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) Connector Failure
The U.S. Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement has issued a Safety Alert as the result of a number of incidents on rigs caused by a loss of integrity of LMRP H-4 connector bolts. BSEE instructed the operators of affected rigs to secure current well operations and to retrieve the LMRP and/or BOP to the surface. These operators were directed to suspend operations until the existing bolts on the LMRP connector/wellhead connector could be replaced or recertified. Replacement bolts must be certified by an independent third-party to be in compliance with recommended heat treatment practices, or the existing bolts have been examined and certified by an independent third-party that they are fit for purpose.
While the BSEE Alert only affects rigs operating in the US Gulf of Mexico, IADC has been informed of at least one other similar failure occurring elsewhere. Contractors with rigs using H-4 connectors should take steps to ensure the integrity of these connectors to avoid potential failure.