KULLUK grounding hearings as reported in the Achorage Daily News

Monday testimony here:

Kulluk hearing highlights crisis before grounding
By LISA DEMER — Published: May 20, 2013

Norman “Buddy” Custard of Shell testifies about the events leading up to the grounding of the Kulluk during the first day of the Coast Guard’s formal marine casualty investigation being held in the Anchorage Assembly Chambers on Monday, May 20, 2013. The investigation will determine the causal and contributing factors that led to the conical drilling unit grounding on Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, during severe weather on Dec. 31, 2012.

The first time the Kulluk, Royal Dutch Shell’s oil drilling rig, broke from its tow line in the Gulf of Alaska, crews pulled up the tow gear and discovered that a big, heavy metal shackle – a key connector – had somehow come off and was missing, Shell Alaska’s top emergency response official told the Coast Guard Monday.

That equipment failure, around 11:40 a.m. on Dec. 27, was the first in a series of troubles that ended Dec. 31 when the Kulluk – by then unmanned – grounded off Sitkalidak Island, just south of Kodiak Island.

A Coast Guard marine casualty hearing into the circumstances of the grounding began Monday with a detailed account by Norman “Buddy” Custard, Shell’s emergency response team leader for Alaska, about an increasingly frantic situation as crews on multiple vessels tried and failed to control the thrashing Kulluk during a winter storm.

Custard, retired from a 30-year-plus career in the Coast Guard including stints as a cutter commander, said his top concern in managing the crisis “was the safety of life at sea.” He’s the one who asked the Coast Guard to evacuate the Kulluk’s 18 crew members, leaving the vessel unmanned and unable to anchor. It was Custard who at the end ordered the crew of the tugboat Alert – the last one holding on – to let loose of the tow line so that they, too, wouldn’t be pulled into danger.

Back on Dec. 28 and into the next day, “the Kulluk was riding very lively,” Custard told the Coast Guard investigation team, lead by Cmdr. Joshua McTaggart with the Coast Guard Investigations National Center of Expertise in New Orleans. The circular 266-foot diameter rig was pitching, rolling and heaving. The vessel crew was tired and worn out.

“We have to put ourselves in their shoes,” he remembers telling others on the Kulluk incident management team.

He didn’t want to wait too late to evacuate. He remembers what happened in December 2004 with the cargo ship Selendang Ayu, which lost its engine power and grounded off Unalaska Island in a storm. The seas were rougher close in. A rogue wave knocked a Coast Guard rescue helicopter into the sea and six of the cargo ship’s crew members died.

The Coast Guard is investigating the grounding to see whether equipment failures and human factors played a role. In addition, McTaggart is examining the role of the Coast Guard and other organizations, including the decision to allow the Kulluk tow plan to move forward. He ultimately could recommend changes in equipment or systems, or actions against individuals licensed by the Coast Guard.

The evidence includes 79 exhibits so far: emails and tow plans, log notes and technical specifications, information about routes and weather. But the Coast Guard is not releasing any of that until its investigation ends, officials said.

The Kulluk left Dutch Harbor Dec. 21, under tow by the Aiviq, a large, new vessel built and operated by Edison Chouest Offshore for Shell.

After the tow rigging system failed Dec. 27, the Aiviq hooked up an emergency tow line and the Kulluk, for a time, was stabilized.

Custard said Shell quickly activated its incident management team at its Alaska headquarters in Midtown’s Frontier Building. Top executives, including Shell’s vice president for Alaska, Pete Slaiby, and its Alaska operations manager, Sean Churchfield, were on vacation. So Custard was not only the emergency response manager, but also acting operations manager.

Around 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 28, Custard was woken up with the news that the tow vessel, the Aiviq, was having engine trouble. He soon learned it had lost all four engines. A Coast Guard cutter, the Alex Haley, tried to attach a tow line to the Aiviq to stop its drift, but the gear became tangled.

Custard said that’s when he knew the incident would take days or weeks to get under control. Shell, the Coast Guard and others formed a “unified command.”

Ultimately, the Aiviq crew was able to restore power, but neither it nor other boats that came to help could hold the Kulluk in the storm.

Custard didn’t have all the answers. He didn’t know why the tow equipment kept failing. He didn’t know whether Shell had a specific plan for evacuating the Kulluk crew while the vessel was under tow, in addition to when it was anchored for drilling. While complex operations usually have written risk assessments, he said he never saw such a document for the Kulluk tow. He said he talked with Shell marine manager John Kaighin about the tow plan but did not go over the risk issues.

Custard also said he signed off on the tow plan in Churchfield’s place and should have noted that on the document, which said Churchfield approved it.

The Kulluk was refloated on Jan. 6. It’s been sent to a Singapore shipyard for repairs.

The hearing in the Anchorage Assembly chambers at Loussac Library drew only a few dozen people, including a number of lawyers representing various companies and ship captains. Besides the Coast Guard, representatives of the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which regulates offshore drilling in federal waters, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Marshall Islands, where the Royal Dutch Shell’s rig the Kulluk is flagged, are participating. The NTSB also is conducting its own investigation.

Shell used the Kulluk to drill part of a single well last year in the Beaufort Sea. It did the same in the Chukchi Sea with its leased drilling ship, the Noble Discoverer. It wasn’t able to drill into oil-rich zones because spill containment equipment wasn’t ready.

Shell announced in February it had dropped plans for more Alaska drilling this year but plans to return at some point.

The hearing continues Tuesday morning with telephone testimony from the tow master for an earlier transport of the Kulluk. Hearings are scheduled through May 31.

McTaggart’s report is due July 5 to Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander of the Coast Guard in Alaska and should become public soon after that, said Lt. Cmdr. Brian McNamara, McTaggart’s legal adviser.

Reach Lisa Demer at ldemer@adn.com or 257-4390.

I am only going to post the direct articles from the ADN here and will add my comments separately in subsequent posts below and boy there are going to be a bunch!

Tuesday testimony

[B]Captain: Winter transit of Kulluk across Gulf of Alaska was possible[/B]
By LISA DEMER — Published: May 21, 2013

A vessel captain in charge of towing Shell’s troubled oil drilling rig, the Kulluk, when it left a Seattle shipyard back in June said Tuesday that the gear was more than strong enough, the crews were qualified and that under the right conditions, a winter transit through the Gulf of Alaska could have been done safely.

Marc Dial, a tow master with Offshore Rig Movers International, testified by telephone from Veracruz, Mexico, on Day 2 of a Coast Guard hearing in Anchorage into the Dec. 31 grounding of the Kulluk.

For the June trip north and the December trip south, the saucer-shaped Kulluk was towed by a single ship custom built for Shell by Edison Chouest Offshore, a Louisiana-based company that also operated the tow boat.

Dial said the trip north was uneventful, with calm weather and favorable currents that allowed the vessels to move along at better than a 4 mph pace. [B][I][U]While he didn’t have experience in the far north before[/U][/I][/B], he said he’s overseen roughly 100 tows of jackup drilling rigs and maybe 40 tows of other drilling-related vessels.

Under questioning by Keith Fawcett, a Coast Guard investigator, Dial said he didn’t like using a single tow vessel or tug. In the event of “catastrophic failure that could not be repaired at sea,” the whole operation could be at risk.

But the tow planning team, some of whom spent months preparing for the transit, decided if the lead vessel or the main towing gear were lost “that meant we were in pretty heavy weather and there wasn’t much a secondary towing vessel could do,” he said. “So there was no point in putting any more lives or equipment at risk.”

The tow vessel for the Kulluk, the Aiviq, was brand new, with four powerful engines, and designed for that purpose, Shell has said.

The team focused on the route, currents, weather, and the reach of rescue crews, Dial said.

Shell contracted with Noble Drilling Corp. to operate the Kulluk and Dial testified that Noble was concerned about a requirement that its crew ride on board during the transit. When the Kulluk was brought to Seattle, it was unmanned. The 30-year-old rig had been mothballed in Canada for a dozen years before Shell bought it in 2005 and Dial said no one was still around who knew about earlier tows.

Dial checked into the issue and learned that Shell’s warranty surveyor, who examines the towing system for underwriters, insisted it travel with a crew.

Besides the Coast Guard, federal agencies and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where the Kulluk is flagged, are helping in the investigation. And many of the players have lawyers, who also can ask questions.

Would using a single vessel to tow the Kulluk with a crew on board be too much risk in the winter? asked Barry Strauch, the National Transportation Safety Board’s representative in the investigation.

“Not necessarily,” Dial answered. Weather patterns, routing, and speed all would make a difference. “There are still a lot of things you can do to make it a safe tow.”

He only worked for Shell the one time but said he would be willing to do so again.

The Kulluk was unique to tow. Because of its round shape, it didn’t cut through swells but tended to oscillate, moving back and forth in a sort of elliptical orbit.

“That would slowly diminish as the train of swells diminished,” Dial said.

The oscillation didn’t strain the tow gear, Dial said.

Towing systems for ocean transits are complex engineered systems. They include what mariners call “jewelry” that connect heavy chains to a long tow line called a pendant wire. The Kulluk was attached by two bridle chains to shackles that hooked to a tow plate connected by another shackle to the pendant wire.

During the frantic December tows, one of the Kulluk shackles came off and was lost at sea during a storm, the first in a series of tow failures.

The Kulluk’s shackles were super big, rated with a 120-ton working load strength, Dial said. The original plan called for smaller shackles but they were upgraded.

If the Aiviq, with a pulling force rated at 200 tons, ran at 50 to 70 percent of its power, a 120-ton working load shackle was plenty strong enough, Dial said. The shackle shouldn’t have broken until it was hit with a force of five times that working load, though it would have begun to bend before that.

Old school skippers used to design towing systems with a weak link so that if a tow failed, they would know what part, Dial said. But that’s not the modern way, he said.

“The shackle is one of the stronger pieces of this particular towing arrangement,” Dial said.

Also on Tuesday, a Shell executive – and recently retired Coast Guard officer – returned to the witness chair.

Norman "Buddy Custard said he retired from a 30-year Coast Guard career in June 2012 and started working for Shell the same month. He was emergency response manager at the time of the grounding, and also filling in for the operations manager, who was on vacation over the holidays. And he was one of the rotating incident commanders during the Kulluk crisis.

Did he seek out the Shell job or did Shell approach him? Strauch asked.

“Shell approached me,” Custard said. “They expressed an interest. They knew I was retiring.”

Strauch asked him about reports that Shell shoved off from Dutch Harbor in late December to avoid a state tax bill that would have hit Jan. 1.

“There was a tax situation that was discussed but that was not the driving force,” Custard said. Shell wanted to get the Kulluk to a shipyard in Seattle for maintenance work before the 2013 drilling season, he said. Shell now doesn’t plan to drill this year.

The trip was supposed to take 18 to 24 days, Custard said.

How could Shell have known what weather it would encounter on such a long trip? Strauch asked.

Its experts analyzed the historical frequency and severity of storms, Custard answered. No one was forecasting 30-foot seas when the Aiviq and the Kulluk left, he said.

The Kulluk’s 18-man crew was evacuated by the Coast Guard on Dec. 29. No one was hurt in the grounding. Only a few hundred gallons of diesel spill was spilled when life rafts crashed, Custard said.

The hearing, in the Assembly chambers of Loussac Library, continues Wednesday. It is expected to go until May 31.

"Norman “Buddy Custard said he retired from a 30-year Coast Guard career in June 2012 and started working for Shell the same month.”

Gee, imagine that.

It should be a felony to do that. At the very least it should mean the loss of all pension and benefits paid by the American taxpayer who gets screwed by his ilk.

There should be at least a 5 year period of “non-compete” before those lifers can transfer to the people they were tasked to oversee. This scumbag is the poster child for the incestuous relationship between the USCG and the industry they are charged to regulate. The existence of that man in that room puts a stink on everyone serving in the CG. Shame on him, shame on all of them and the polticians who make it possible.

Wednesday’s testimony from the rig manager/OIM on the KULLUK. So I guess Noble Drilling and Shell are soon to file for divorce!

Manager aboard Kulluk: 'We should have had another tug boat’
By LISA DEMER — ldemer@adn.com
Published: May 22, 2013

Todd Case, left, the offshore installation manager for the Kulluk, testifies during a formal marine investigation hearing Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska. The Coast Guard is leading the investigation into the New Year’s Eve grounding of the Kulluk, a Shell Arctic drilling rig, near Kodiak Island. On the right is Case’s lawyer, Brian Doherty of Anchorage.

The Noble Drilling Corp. manager riding on Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig for what turned into a harrowing December trip across the Gulf of Alaska told a Coast Guard panel Wednesday that given the troubles, the rig should be towed with two vessels, at least in winter.

“Knowing what we know now, we know we should have had another tug boat there,” Todd Case, a Noble rig manager, testified. Multiple vessels are needed, he said.

Case’s testimony provides the first account from the sea during a Coast Guard hearing that began Monday investigating the Dec. 31 grounding of the Kulluk. The hearing at the Anchorage Assembly chambers in Loussac Library is scheduled through May 31.

The Kulluk left Dutch Harbor under tow by a specially built vessel, the Aiviq, on Dec. 21 for what was supposed to be a several week journey to a Seattle shipyard after the 2012 drilling season.

The first few days of the transit were uneventful, Case said. They left Dutch with a four-day window of good weather. They barbecued on the deck Christmas Day.

Then the weather started to pick up and after the tow gear to the Aiviq broke on Dec. 27, one thing after another went wrong.

Emergency tow systems failed. The Aiviq lost engine power. An anchor was mistakenly dropped. And, as the drifting Kulluk got close to land and an initial evacuation attempt by helicopter proved too perilous, Case said, the life rafts were considered a risky last resort.

“As heavy as the seas were – the boat could have been launched. It could have got sucked up under the concave of the rig. The rig could have smashed down on it,” Case testified. “Lots of variables in there.”

On Dec. 29, a second helicopter rescue attempt by the Coast Guard succeeded in plucking all 18 men off the Kulluk. It was unmanned and adrift when it grounded two days later.

Keith Fawcett, a Coast Guard investigator, asked Case about an item in the Kulluk operations manual that specified the vessel’s tolerance for pitching and rolling while under tow. The manual said in rough weather, if the pitching and rolling movement regularly exceeded 6 degrees, the towing vessel should slow down or even stop.

Kulluk log notes show that the pitch and roll as the situation deteriorated was 8 to 10 degrees and occasionally up to 15 degrees.

Case said he didn’t know whether the tow master, who ultimately had authority for the rig under tow, knew about the 6-degree limit. He testified later during followup questioning by Coast Guard Cmdr. Joshua McTaggart that he himself was unware of it.

But he said, everyone knew the tow speed needed to slow down in rough weather.

He testified that the rig movement at times wasn’t that rough.

“It was a long swell. It was not a violent pitching and rolling. The rig was moving, but was moving pretty slow.”

Still, in the worst of it, he kept the crew indoors. They didn’t cook and ate cold sandwiches.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Thursday testimony

[B]Vessel towing Shell drill rig had ‘slime’ in fuel, chief engineer tells inquiry panel[/B]
By LISA DEMER — ldemer@adn.com
Published: May 23, 2013

The chief engineer in charge of keeping the tow ship for Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig running testified on Thursday that the engines failed because of a problem with the diesel fuel that materialized in the form of “slime.”

Carl Broekhuis testified on Day 4 of what is expected to be a 10-day Coast Guard hearing investigating the cause of the Dec. 31 grounding of the Kulluk.

He was the chief engineer on the Aiviq, a vessel built and owned by a Louisiana company, Edison Chouest Offshore, and contracted to Shell for the 2012 drilling season.

The Coast Guard took samples of the fuel for testing but Broekuis said he has never seen the results.

The substance, whatever it was, caused every fuel injector for all four of Aiviq’s main engines to fail.

“This wasn’t just slime. There was something else on it,” Broekhuis said. “It was something that was unexplained.”

He suspects a fuel additive – put in before Aiviq fueled up in Dutch Harbor – caused the problem. The Aiviq was towing the Kulluk on what was supposed to be a weeks-long journey to a Seattle-area shipyard for off-season maintenance when the main tow line broke on Dec. 27 in a rough storm and then the engines failed, first one, then two more and finally the last one.

Broekhuis said his crew was able to replace the injectors for one engine with spares already on board. Then Edison Chouest flew more than enough spares in the jet of company owner Gary Chouest to Kodiak. The Coast Guard dropped them off early on Dec. 29.

I believe this guy is telling the USCG exactly what ECO wants him to tell them. BS on the bad fuel and if it was bad, why the fuck did the vessel take it in the first place?


Must of been those meddling kids at Greenpeace I tell ya! Hey didn’t shell have their own oil tanker for this whole operation that fueled the fleet?

[QUOTE=c.captain;110206] BS on the bad fuel and if it was bad, why the fuck did the vessel take it in the first place?[/QUOTE]

This is enough to make you spew … so where are the fuel samples and what kind of fuel additive created such a mess so quickly and why didn’t the replacement injectors crap out as well? Did they dump all the bad fuel overboard and clean the tanks while they were changing injectors?

The only people in that room stupider than the ex-coastie and the chief engineer are the coasties pretending to hold a hearing.

If this is an example of oversight and leadership we are fucking doomed.

also from ADN.com this evening


Video clip of the Kulluk tow connection parting from the Aiviq that was shown during the Coast Guard’s formal marine casualty investigation hearing on Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Anchorage.

CAPTAIN OBVIOUS: Looks like they were pulling on the thing too hard (duh!) given the conditions, yeah hard to tell by the crappy video and no other info but just “looks” that way to me. Joe-boss had a deadline for these boys to meet, otherwise they would have done whatever it took to keep that wire happy. Isn’t that crap they teach seatow guys?

Funny thing, and its a good point, that if the fuel was that junk first someone wasn’t doing their job by keeping an eye on it, and second, how the hell did it not lunch the new injectors right away? Like steamer said, where did all that crap fuel go? …I smell BS, but we already know its a big joke given those involved.

Reckon someone was seasick and they didn’t keep an eye on vacuum or pressures and see the issue beginning while there was time to avoid issues.

Seems like sludge or slime would have clogged the filters first. If a good bit made it through the racors the secondaries would have caught the rest. I’m leaning toward water in the fuel and if the failure of engines cascaded through all four that quick it was lots of it. Betcha they had streaking on their tape bob that got progressively worse when they loaded that fuel. They took a sample to the Shell company man onboard and he said load it anyway we got a wx window an can’t wait. The only way enough slime to blow out your injector tips gets through is if you aren’t using filters. If it was water in the fuel then how come this monstrosity doesn’t have separators?

Boy that rig looked a little close…

[QUOTE=Steamer;110214]This is enough to make you spew … so where are the fuel samples and what kind of fuel additive created such a mess so quickly and why didn’t the replacement injectors crap out as well? Did they dump all the bad fuel overboard and clean the tanks while they were changing injectors?

The only people in that room stupider than the ex-coastie and the chief engineer are the coasties pretending to hold a hearing.

If this is an example of oversight and leadership we are fucking doomed.[/QUOTE]

I’ll be generous and say the chief engineer fears for his job. It is better to assume that than think he is incompetent or committing perjury. The USCG? No excuse for them, they are either incompetent or corrupt, take your pick. These morons are going to be the poster children for Greenpeace as to why no one should be allowed to drill in Alaska.

I don’t know a thing about towing rigs, but the description made it sound like they had no surge gear at all, bridle legs straight to the tow wire? Did I read that right and is that normal?

I would hope they did when my company towed it back from Dutch the first time with 2 tugs we had 120’ 3 1/2" chain that was mandated in the tow plan from Shell I would think they kept that standard but you never know.

Slime in the fuel in Dutch? Hmmm seems fine whenever we fill up there. The 100+ fishing boats that fish out of there seem fine as well.

Pretty sure we have the same engines as Aiviq too.

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;110226]Seems like sludge or slime would have clogged the filters first. If a good bit made it through the racors the secondaries would have caught the rest. I’m leaning toward water in the fuel and if the failure of engines cascaded through all four that quick it was lots of it. Betcha they had streaking on their tape bob that got progressively worse when they loaded that fuel. They took a sample to the Shell company man onboard and he said load it anyway we got a wx window an can’t wait. The only way enough slime to blow out your injector tips gets through is if you aren’t using filters. If it was water in the fuel then how come this monstrosity doesn’t have separators?[/QUOTE]

Having been through a very similar experience with CAT unit injectors, we lost a total of 72 injectors literally limping into port with one main running on 11 out 16 cylinders, i can assure you this can happen with out clogged filters or water in the fuel. I mentioned this failure on this forum when the Aivik story first broke in the news, the type of injector loss sounded very similar to what we had happen, it was determined to be deposits of carboxylate soaps. These soaps formed on the internals of the injectors leaving a sticky deposit that would eventually prevent the solenoids from being able to begin injection leaving you with a dead cylinder. All fuel samples taken met spec’s and there were no issues at all with filters. Anytime we slowed down or reduced load on engines we would have injectors that simply topped firing, we could sometimes get them to work again briefly by toggling them on and off several times with the CAT ET but it never lasted more than a few hours from the initial problems, looking back on it after knowing what the cause was it made more sense, when reducing loads cylinder temps dropped from 900 degrees to 300 degrees or so and the soap deposits became more viscous preventing proper movement of injector pilot system and thereby preventing injection.

Below is some information that I found in a Cummins report, the formating is terrible but the information is there, i can email the whole report if anyone is interested.
3 types of injector deposits have now been3 types ofinjector deposits have now been reported in the forums and literature… • Carbonaceous (hard carbon)
– Can result in fueling and power loss over time
• Lacquer/varnish or polymeric
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]May originatefrom polymeric additives such as PIBSI.
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]Reported to causeinternal injector deposits and sticking in light duty engines

Reported to cause internal injectordeposits and sticking in light duty engines [FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]Carboxylate ororganic soaps
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]• Of the 3, the carboxylate soap is the most significant [to me]Of the 3,the carboxylate soap is the most significant [to me]
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]• Why is this important?
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]– It is mission disabling without warning (sticks injectors)
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]– Can cause progressive engine damage (if injectorsticks open)
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]– Forces replacement of complete sets of injectors
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]– Fuel quality passes general acceptance tests (minimumsof ASTM D975)Fuel quality passes general acceptance tests (minimums of ASTMD975)

[CENTER]Overviewof MCRS sticking problem
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]MCRS injectorscease to function
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]Time to Failure:Min: 76, Avg: 3427 hours.
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]• Dramatic frequency increase in US Gulf of Mexicomarine applications in 2010
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]• Reports of power loss excessive smoke fuel out Reportsof power loss, excessive smoke, fuel out the exhaust, no start or hard start
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]Progressiveengine damage
[FONT=luxi-sans-1]• [/FONT]Component causingproblem: Pilot valve

• Pilot valvecan fail both open and close. ••Open: Fuel out the exhaustsmoke no start Open: Fuel out the exhaust, smoke, no start.
• Closed: Lossof power, black smoke, runs rough
• Teardown and visualinspection of injectors shows deposit buildup on the pilot valve needle


Contributing causes

[FONT=Wingdings]• Issue occurs when a carboxylate or organic soap deposit forms on thepilot valve match clearance resulting in the eventual sticking of the pilotvalve match clearance, resulting in the eventual sticking of the pilot valveand injector failure.

• There are three components that combine to form the soap

• Acid

• Hydrocarbon

• Base


• The carboxylatesoap is a product of a chemical reaction between an organic acid and eithersodium or calcium (base).

• Source of theacids could be lubricity enhancer (introduced w/ ULSD introduction), corrosionprotection, fuel-ageing products, …

• • ThThe soap iis viisciious and highlhly polar.dhi l

• Soap adheres tometal surfaces and ‘gums up the works’ C di l tth

• Copper and zinccan accelerate the process

Sodium Carboxylate Soaps …continued

SodiumCarboxylate Soaps …continued

• Some additives typically in ULSD are acids which can form soap d itdeposits

• The hydrocarbonis a part of the fuel itself. It can also come from biological growth in thefuel in the presence of water.

• The base Na &Ca salts are used as water absorption agents in post-refining streams, notrelated to Sulfur removal, or from other sources such as ‘road salts’

• Very lowconcentrations (< 10 ppm) may cause the problem

• FIE supplierwants (<< 1 ppm) Na, Ca in specifications


• FIE Fuels Expert also asks:FIE FuelsExpert also asks:

• [I]“…somerefinery people insist on a statement that it is not possible to produce fuelwithout sodium [/I]

• [I]why -beingaware of the presence of sodium -refiners then add acids, being aware that itis basic knowledge of a chemist about the reaction that occurs when those bothmaterials are brought together?” [/I]

• SGSSGS surveysshhow ththat state of th f the art iis lless thhan 0 1 0.1 ppm NNa / C / Ca((samplles from publically accessible fuel stations).

[B]JSAE TW3 31Aug2011 16 [/B]

Contributing Causes

Contributing Causes

• ULSD introductiondid ppromppt reformulated additive treatment of the fuel. This lead to a higherlikelihood of deposit formation if not counteracted properly (use ofnon-reactive detergent additives).

• Organic acidsodium and calcium can be part of a ULSD

• Organic acid,sodium, and calcium can be part of a ULSD production process at a refinery orcan be added during fuel transportation / contamination w/ sea water or roadsalts.

• • DDS Acid (DDSA) is a diacidic compound that is used as a corrosioninhibitor (generally for pipelines). There is some debate and supporting data that these are more likely tocause internal injectorsupporting data that these are more likely to causeinternal injector deposits than mono-acidic compounds.

• Additive suppliercomments: very concerned that mono-acidlubricity improvers (sometimes referred to as ‘fatty acids’) are implicated

• They reportedsignificant work that at 10x treat rate of the DDSA the mono-acid did no harm(no sticking injectors found clean internally)

[CENTER]mono acid did no harm (no sticking, injectors found cleaninternally)
This information was found in this report:
[CENTER][FONT=luxi-sans-1]JSAE TWS-3Injector Deposit Forum Continuing Studies of
Forum – Continuing Studies of InjectorDeposit Formation and FildO i lP bl
Field Operational Problems

Norman C. Blizard, Sr. Technical Advisor High Horse Power EngineeringCummins Inc.

The following is from a failure report generated after the failure i was involved in.

The two injectors we have closely inspected, one from the PME and one from the SME, each
showed evidence of a light-colored, wax-like deposit on the solenoid piston, needle valve, needle
valve housing, and fuel filter membrane. These deposits are likely to be responsible for the
improper function of the injectors.
• The deposits were found most likely to be either a sodium- or calcium-carboxlyate (or “carboxylate
salt”) that formed on the working surfaces of the injectors.
• The carboxylate salt likely formed from the presence of two categories of contaminants in the fuel,
both of which must have been present. They include 1) either sodium and/or calcium, and 2) a
member of the dodecenyl succinic acid (DDSA) and/or hexadecenyl succinic acid (HDSA) family.

The quantities of calcium and sodium required to combine with DDSA or HDSA are very small, and
may not have been detected by the standard fuel testing that was performed after the injector
failures. Also, the analyzed fuel samples may not have been representative of the fuel that caused
the injector failures. As such, the fuel testing performed to date has not been adequate to identify
the presence of contaminants that may cause this problem, and similar fuel testing may not be
reliable for identifying such problems in the future.

Note to self-

Be weary of loading fuel if I ever find myself in Dutch Harbor.

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;110262]Note to self-

Be weary of loading fuel if I ever find myself in Dutch Harbor.[/QUOTE]

It wasn’t the GODDAMNED fuel! Literally hundreds of vessels took that same diesel from the jobber and if it was bad then there would have been dozens of boats going DIW out in the Bering Sea and elsewhere.

All four mains were pulling from the same day tank I believe and there was a shitload of water in it from seas washing on the decks! ECO is throwing up a smokescreen here to pass the blame to something that can easily be proved negatively with simple tests of the samples.

[QUOTE=50thState;110234]I don’t know a thing about towing rigs, but the description made it sound like they had no surge gear at all, bridle legs straight to the tow wire? Did I read that right and is that normal?[/QUOTE]

everything looks wrong in the video. The wire looks small, there are no tow pins up, no chafe gear in place, the rig looks way too close and the wire almost appears to tightline in the second before it breaks. Why is the wire not leading downwards as it crosses the roller? I believe there is no surge gear at all in place, the rig was too close and the AIVIQ pulling too hard! POP GOES THE WEASEL!