Tags: EU | Britain | Oil | Leaks

UK Oil Regulator: Safety Record Is Not Good Enough

Tuesday, 24 Aug 2010 09:05 AM

Britain's oil and gas industry must improve standards after a rise in the number of leaks from oil rigs operating in British waters, the country's safety regulator said in a report Tuesday.

The Health and Safety Executive said it had also recorded a major rise in the number of serious injuries on about 300 offshore oil and gas installations covered under an annual safety report.

Figures showed there were 85 major accidental leaks in the most recent year, compared to 61 a year earlier. The leaks can be precursors to a major spill.

The safety of offshore oil drilling has come under greater scrutiny since the disastrous leak on the BP rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

The annual report showed there were no deaths last year on rigs or platforms, but 50 major injuries — up from 30 the year before. In an incident not covered by the safety report, 16 people died in a helicopter crash on a journey from a gas facility to Aberdeen, Scotland, in April of last year.

According to the report, more than half of serious injuries in the last year onboard rigs and platforms were the result of falls, slips or tripping over.

"This year's overall health and safety picture is simply not good enough. The industry has shown it can do better and it must do in future," said Steve Walker, head of the regulator's offshore division.

Walker said there were serious concerns over the rise in leaks on installations in the North Sea, off the coast of Britain.

"I am particularly disappointed, and concerned, that major and significant hydrocarbon releases are up by more than a third on last year," Walker said. "This is a key indicator of how well the offshore industry is managing its major accident potential, and it really must up its game to identify and rectify the root causes of such events."

Oil and Gas U.K., an industry representative organization, said the number of leaks were a concern and members would examine how to improve safety.

"The industry will now reflect on these statistics and seek a way forward, by identifying the things which we can do better," said Robert Paterson, director of health, safety and employment for Oil and Gas U.K.

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Britain's oil and gas industry must improve standards after a rise in the number of leaks from oil rigs operating in British waters, the country's safety regulator said in a report Tuesday.The Health and Safety Executive said it had also recorded a major rise in the number...
EU,Britain,Oil,Leaks
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2010-05-24
 

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