Investigation of Marathon Oil's Offshore Gas Leak Reveals Poor Inspection Practices

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BBC, March 31, 2016

An investigation of a last December's gas leak at Marathon Oil's Brae Alpha drilling platform revealed that reckless inspection practices exposed personnel to unacceptable risk of serious injury from fire and explosion. The rig, located 155 mile northeast of Aberdeen in the North Sea, was shut down on December 26, 2015 after workers discovered a natural gas leak. The incident resulted in significant damage, but no one was injured. The Health and Safety Executive investigated the leak and now reports that facility hadn't removed piping insulation to complete routine inspections since it was commissioned in 1983. This is despite company policy requiring the insulation be removed for inspection at least every 12 years. Operations remain shut down until a full investigation is complete and both Marathon and the HSE are confident it is safe to resume production.

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