Shell gets improvement notice for North Sea gas leak

UK’s safety watchdog has issued an improvement notice to Shell regarding an offshore gas leak incident which happened in January, near the Curlew FPSO in the UK North Sea.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Shell in 2014 decided that it was necessary to connect the Station Keeping Assist Vessel (SKAV) “Pacific Dolphin” to the “Curlew” FPSO because of concerns about the integrity of the Curlew’s mooring lines.

On January 19, 2015, the towline between the Pacific Dolphin SKAV and the Curlew FPSO snagged nearby gas export pipeline’s subsea isolation valve skid and the SKAV crew applied increased tension to the towline until the pipeline ruptured and released gas to the sea surface, thus exposing employees and others to a risk of fire and/or explosion, HSE said in a statement on Monday.

The watchdog has found that the management of change process failed to ensure that a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the safety of their employees and other persons not in their employment was made. Nobody was injured in the incident.



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