HSE Investigates Gas Leak from North Sea Platform

A gas leak on a North Sea platform is being investigated by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

In a statement, the HSE said an 80kg gas release had been reported, and the incident was under investigation. The incident took place on the Alba Northern installation 130 miles (210km) north east of Aberdeen on 3rd February this year.

The platform is operated by Chevron, who confirmed there were no injuries or evacuations and that it is cooperating with the HSE’s investigation.

The leak comes after the HSE wrote to all North Sea operators last year expressing concern about continued hydrocarbon releases (HCRs).

Chris Flint, director of the regulator’s energy division, asked operators to take a new approach and look critically at their operations and learn from incidents both onshore and offshore.

Mr Flint also suggested a comprehensive safety review and audit of oil and gas producers’ safety management to improve standards and practices.

He said: “Experience from our investigations is that HCRs typically happen because there have been failings across the board. Poor plant condition, and breaches of procedures are often immediate causes, but beneath that we often find a lack of leadership, a poor safety culture, and evidence that weaknesses have existed for some time, but haven’t been picked up through audit, assurance and review and then dealt with.

Flint continued: “If you get the safety culture right, staff will be much more likely to spot hazards, challenge when standards aren’t right, and be engaged in improvement. And if you have an effective system of monitoring and audit in place, leadership will know which systems need fixing, and can target their efforts to prevent the incidents occurring in the first place.”

HSE Investigates Gas Leak from North Sea Platform 2
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