40 years since the Alexander L. Kielland disaster

On 27 March 2020, 40 years have passed since 123 people lost their lives in the Alexander L. Kielland disaster. Let’s never forget – and let’s continue to learn and improve health and safety work.

‘Never another major accident is our main focus in all activities,’ Norway President in ConocoPhillips, Terri King, said. During the evening of March 27, 1980, the rig Alexander L. Kielland capsized on the Edda field, in the Ekofisk area in the North Sea. One of the rig’s legs was torn off in high seas.

123 people lost their lives in the accident, and 89 survived. The accident helped to many improvements within health and safety work in the Norwegian petroleum industry.

The official memorial has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, but a gathering by the Broken Chain Monument in Kvernevik was carried out. The Norwegian Oil Museum has finalized an exhibition about the tragedy, but the opening has been postponed due to Covid-19. An animated version of the accident together with interviews of survivors are available on the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority’s website.

Terri King, ConocoPhillips' President Norway and North Africa laid the wreath at Broken Chain. Also pictured, from left: Ståle Skretting, Ekofisk-committee union; Kjell Rune Skjeggestad, HSE Manager and Jan-Arne Johansen, General Manager Norway Operations.