The safety of workers on a North Sea oil rig were put in danger by a gas leak, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The HSE says a “catastrophic” failure of pipework, that hadn’t been properly inspected for over 30 years caused the leak of hydrocarbon gas at the Brae Alpha platform.
Improvement Notice served
Marathon Oil, which operated the facility, has been served with an improvement notice by the HSE, the platform having been shut down Boxing Day last year to enable investigators to establish the source of the leak.
The HSE says the firm failed to have insulation removed from the rig’s discharge pipework for inspection despite its own corrosion strategy recommending that such a procedure be carried out at least every 12 years.
‘Worker safety top priority’
A spokesman for Marathon Oil says the firm is taking immediate steps to comply with the improvement notice while fully cooperating with the HSE.
He says the safety of the firm’s workers remains its top priority, adding that many of the remedial actions asked for in the notice are “already well under way”.
The spokesman adds that production at the platform will remain “shut-in” until the firm has completed its own investigation and feels confident that it’s safe to restart operations.
Date Published: April 19, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown