December 6, 2021 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Chartered Jack-Up Drilling Rig Sinks Off Malaysia


On May 4, 2021, ConocoPhillips Sarawak Ltd. confirmed that all on board its chartered jack-up drilling rig Naga 7 had been evacuated. The incident occurred off Malaysia on May 3, 2021.

“A marine incident occurred on May 3, 2021, at approximately at 2.45 pm when the jack-up drilling oil rig Naga 7 was being positioned at Salam-3 located offshore Sarawak.

“We confirm that the oil rig Naga 7 is listing and response efforts are already underway,” ConocoPhillips Sarawak Ltd said.

The company said in a press statement that the marine incident occurred on Monday.

The rig sunk after one or more of its legs penetrated the seabed off Sarawak, Malaysia, as confirmed by the Malaysia-based drilling contractor Velesto Energy.

All 101 personnel aboard the Velesto Naga 7 rig were transferred to vessels standing by for rescue; no injuries were reported.

Velesto Naga 7 was in the area to operate at the Salam-3 well for customer ConocoPhillips when the accident occurred. Velesto stated that the incident occurred due to rapid soil penetration, causing the rig to list and then sink. Velesto reported that the rig was fully submerged at the location where the incident occurred.

Prior to the incident, no well drilling had begun, according to Velesto.

“All the relevant authorities have been duly informed, and we are currently monitoring the incident location for any potential adverse impact,” Velesto said in a statement.


ConocoPhillips reported that its Emergency Response Team had been mobilized and other authorities have been informed. “Our utmost priority and concern are the safety of the people and we confirm that all persons on board the rig have been evacuated off Naga 7.

“There were no known injuries or environmental damages,” added the statement.

The rig is owned by by Velesto Energy and was working for ConocoPhillips.

When contacted, Miri Divisional Disaster Management Committee (MDDMC) minister in charge, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, said he had been informed of the incident and had approved the request for the 101 crew members, the majority of whom are Sarawakians, to be transported to the Offshore Transit Centre (OTC) here.

“This is an offshore emergency case and therefore we had given immediate approval for the crew to be taken to OTC here.

“As per standard operating procedures (SOPs), all 101 crew will be asked to wear wristbands and mandatory quarantine order by Minister of Health upon arrival at Miri Port,” he said.

He added that all crew members from the rig would undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine and that the cost would be borne by their company.

Source: Borneo Post Online, “All workers rescued from damaged oil rig near Bintulu,” May 4, 2021.

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