All 69 people aboard jackup West Atlas were evacuated following an oil and gas leak (and subsequent fire). The rig was drilling on the Montara field offshore Australia in the Timor Sea at the time of the incident.
The 69 personnel working on West Atlas were evacuated from the vessel and, according to international media reports, are now safely aboard pipelaying vessel Java Constructor. There were no injuries.
The Montara development is approximately 429 miles (690 km) west of Darwin in the Northern Territory and 155 miles (250 km) northwest of Truscott in Western Australia. It consists of the Montara, Skua, Swift and Swallow oil fields in production licenses AC/L7 and AC/L8 in the Timor Sea. The field expected to come online in late 2009.
West Atlas, which was built in 2007 by Keppel FELS in Singapore to the KFELS MOD V B design, is capable of drilling to a total depth of 30,000 feet (9,144 m) while operating in up to 400 feet (122 m) of water.
These pictures show the extensive damage to the burnt-out West Atlas oil rig which gushed thousands of barrels of oil into the Timor Sea, then caught fire.
Amver, the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.
Amver's mission is to quickly provide search and rescue authorities, on demand, accurate information on the positions and characteristics of vessels near a reported distress.