North Sea plat­form shut over safety fears

The Scotsman - - Around Scotland - By MAR­TYN MCLAUGH­LIN

The UK gov­ern­ment’s work­place safety watch­dog or­dered the oil giant Shell to shut down a North Sea plat­form amid con­cerns dan­ger­ously cor­roded pipework on the struc­ture could have led to an ex­plo­sion or fire, it has emerged

In­spec­tors from the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive dis­cov­ered a sec­tion of the flare sys­tem on the com­pany’s Ar­mada in­stal­la­tion was in a poor state, with pipework not prop­erly main­tained.

It warned the “de­graded” state of the pipe sec­tion – which should have a thick­ness of 7.1mm, but mea­sured just 1.6mm – posed a risk of “se­ri­ous per­sonal in­jury” re­sult­ing from an ex­plo­sion or fire.

It served an im­me­di­ate pro­hi­bi­tion no­tice against BG In­ter­na­tional – part of the Shell group – ear­lier this sum­mer for the is­sues at the plat- 0 The HSE warned Shell over ‘de­graded’ plat­form pipework form, l30 miles east of Aberdeen.

A Shell spokesman: “We have com­pleted the nec­es­sary im­prove­ment work as stip­u­lated un­der the pro­hi­bi­tion no­tice and the plat­form re­turned to pro­duc­tion on 9 July.”

Since May, Shell has been served with six safety no­tices for in­ci­dents in the North Sea, in­clud­ing two im­prove­ment no­tices for its Brent Char­lie plat­form.

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