The Brae Alpha gas leak shutdown looks to be entering its third week as the North Sea oil platform seems no closer to resuming production.
Brae Alpha Gas Leak
The North Sea platform initiated an emergency shutdown, around 1635 GMT on December 26th, due to a gas leak onboard.
The shutdown closed in all wells and vented all natural gas from the platform’s processing plant- making the installation safe.
The shutdown will move into its third week, on Saturday (Jan 9th), with no end to the ongoing issue in sight.
Brae Alpha’s operator, Marathon Oil, has been giving little information into the ongoing situation onboard and to when the platform is likely to resume production, apart from the need to complete a throughout investigation prior to any restart.
Investigation aside the Brae Alpha is likely to require a degree of construction work to fix the issue causing the leak, with the same required on any similar or associated processing plant, before production resumes.
The length of time needed to engineer and complete the works at this point is unknown.
The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has already slammed Marathon Oil, over a previous gas leak that occurred last year.
A report by the HSE, into the gas leak that took place in June 2015, was only released weeks before the latest incident.
In the report the HSE slammed Marathon Oil, and their inspection and maintenance practices, putting the cause of the leak down to a failed gas riser.
The HSE said that the riser was “operating beyond its design life and apart from a visual inspection there is insufficient information to ensure that the riser has been maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair, thus putting the health and safety of individuals on the platform at risk.”
Marathon Oil has until April 2016 in which to report back to the HSE, and give evidence that they have rectified the issues raise in the investigations report.
Its believe that the HSE have made a visit to the Brae Alpha as part of an investigation into the latest incident.