Offshore InjuryBlog

BP's Norway Oil Platform Risks Explosion Due to Serious Breaches

Serious breaches discovered at the Norwegian BP Ula field were a potential hazard for a deadly explosion, after an oil and gas leak occurred on site. Regulators state they have ordered the company to review their maintenance procedures after they found various breaches on the platform. Reports show about 125 barrels of oil and another 3,520 pounds of gas leaked at their North Sea platform last September. What Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) discovered was that there were many corroded bolts in a valve, which lead to the leak. Fortunately, they were able to prevent any workplace injuries from occurring after the leakage, though the platform was required to put a halt on production for 67 days.

The PSA reports the leakage had the potential to become a disaster, and had there been an explosion, a large number of lives could have been lost in the accident, as well as a high level of material damages. After the world's largest oil spill in 2010 by BP at their Gulf of Mexico site, the PSA previously instructed this site to conduct reviews to replace the necessary equipment to protect the people and the environment. However, the PSA reports that BP did not properly respond to the demands, when they should have learned from a past corroded system at one of their platforms in 2008.

Insufficient documentation is one of the concerns that the PSA has regarding BP's site in their country, claiming the breaches are for identifying and managing risk on their site--which they didn't do. BP's lack of risk assessment on site lead to the oil and gas leak, and had they not discovered the problem when they did the potential for a major accident would have greatly increased. According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, this platform produces about 15,700 barrels of oil a day, as of February.

PSA authorities share they have provided BP with a number of deficiencies were found on the platform, offering them a solid plan to begin making their improvements. They remain confident that BP intends to follow through with the necessary improvements to follow the standards and regulations in Norway.

While this oil and gas leakage did not result in an explosion, there are many instances in which the workers are not as fortunate. The oil and gas industry is among one of the more dangerous occupations around the world, and accidents often lead to the injury and death of workers. In the event that you or a loved one has been injured while working on an oil rig, do not hesitate in contacting Arnold & Itkin LLP today to discuss the possible legal courses of action. Call us today for an offshore accident attorney who can help you!

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