February 7, 2013 / 8:47 PM / 5 years ago

Ensco says no operational problems after bolt warning

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Offshore rig contractor Ensco Plc said it was inspecting bolts on certain blowout preventers after a warning from regulators and GE Oil & Gas, and that it had experienced no operational problems as a result.

“In all cases, spare bolts are on hand or can be re-qualified from the Company’s available stock to replace the relevant bolts,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. “Ensco has also secured new bolts to augment inventory.”

The warning from GE came late last month after a failed bolt was deemed responsible for a leak of drilling fluid. No further details about the incident have been disclosed.

But the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said on Wednesday that it had told offshore rig contractors to inspect its H-4 connectors, which join the blowout preventer to the wellhead.

Ensco said its shallow-water fleet and its seven newly built 8500-series rigs were not affected by the notices, and the relevant bolts had already been replaced for certain other floating rigs in its fleet. For the remainder, the bolts were scheduled for evaluation and, where appropriate, replacement.

Ensco said it would provide an update on the issue in its monthly fleet status report due out in mid-February.

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