AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Piper Alpha tragedy focuses attention on safety
The explosion and fire on the Occidental Petroleum (Caledonia) Ltd. group's Piper Alpha platform in summer 1988 focused the offshore industry's attention on safety.
A preliminary report by the U.K. Department of Energy on the disaster has been widely read by operators in the Eastern and Western hemispheres (OGJ, Oct. 10, 1988, p. 26).
The extent of the tragedy ensured that safety has stayed at the top of the agenda for operators. Fifteen months after the disaster, detailed studies of platform configuration and operating procedures are still in progress.
The U.K. DOE has issued a number of new rules, the most important of which requires operators to reposition, where necessary, platform emergency shutdown valves (ESVs). New rules on subsea shutdown valves are likely before yearend.
The report of the official inquiry into the accident will be published in first half 1990, along with recommendations on any further strengthening of safety rules. DOE is almost certain to implement all of them.
The inquiry is approaching the end of its first phase after hearing months of evidence from survivors, Oxy, DOE, and other witnesses.
Second phase agenda. By the end of this month the senior Scottish judge who is chairing the inquiry will move into the second phase with much wider terms of reference.
Broadening the range of evidence to cover safety aspects of all offshore platforms, the judge has called on the U.K. Offshore Operators Association, DOE, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), and a number of consultants to appear. …