HSE Slams Marathon Oil After North Sea Gas Leak

Published at 06:46PM - 09/11/15

The UK HSE has issued Marathon Oil with an improvement notice, after a gas leak on the offshore operators Brae Alpha North Sea platform earlier this year.

The move comes after the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE), finalised its investigation and report into the the incident, that took place in June.

North Sea Gas Leak

According to the HSE report, the gas leak originated from the Brae Alpha’s West Brae Caisson- a protective cylinder containing gas risers and pipelines running between the subsea West Brae field and the Brae Alpha platform.

The report indicated that the leak was due to a corroded 3” gas lift riser that had failed.

The HSE went further, adding that the caisson also contained a 6” gas lift riser, tied back from the West Brae field.

The report said that the 6” riser which is still in operation is “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

Houston based Marathon Oil has yet to comment on the report by the HSE.  They now have until April 2016 to satisfy the HSE that they have complied with the improvement notice.

The Brae Alpha platform is located around 170 miles (274 km) offshore Aberdeen, and is part of the wider Brae complex consisting of the Brae Bravo and East Brae platforms.

The complex spreads across 9 oil and gas fields, including: Brae North; Beinn; Brae East; Brae West; Brae Central; Kingfisher; Brae South; Miller and Enoch.

Oil is transported back to the UK mainland via the Forties Pipeline System, whilst natural gas produce is transported back to the UK by the SAGE pipeline.