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Fire on Taqa’s Tern Alpha Platform, Injuring Offshore Worker

According to the UK regulator, HSE, there was a total of 106 injuries reported under RIDDOR, with a rate of 365 injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers (FTE), during 2018

All reported injuries (offshore)

There were 23 Fire and Explosion related offshore oil and gas industry incidents reported in 2018, as per Oil and Gas UK, and in 2017, medical evacuations (medevacs) were requested a total of 214 times, with peak demand during the months of December (25) and the months of June (23) and May (22).

According to Taqa’s released statement to Nauticus Live, “TAQA can confirm that a small fire took place on board the Tern Alpha platform at approximately 2 pm on Monday 14th October, which resulted in a member of crew sustaining an arm injury. The fire was quickly extinguished and production on the platform was shut down.”

An offshore worker was injured in a fire incident aboard Taqa’s Tern Alpha platform in the North Sea on Monday, prompting a production shut-down.

The crew member was flown by Coastguard to Shetland, where he was admitted to Gilbert Bain Hospital for medical treatment and was subsequently discharged within a few hours, said Taqa.

“All crew on board were accounted for during muster and were stood-down shortly afterward. An investigation is underway, and the relevant authorities have been notified. It is expected that production will be safely resumed today,” Taqa, an energy company based in Abu Dhabi with operations in 11 countries, said.

All crew on board were accounted for during muster and were stood-down shortly afterward, as a regular practice and standard on most of the offshore installations.

Taqa confirmed that “An investigation is underway, and the relevant authorities have been notified. It is expected that production will be safely resumed today.”

The Tern Alpha Installation is owned and operated by TAQA and is located approximately 317 miles north-east of Aberdeen.

Tern Alpha is a fixed installation serving as manned drilling and production installation for the Tern field in block 210/25 in the East Shetland Basin of the northern North Sea. It also serves as a production facility for the Hudson, Kestrel, Falcon, and Cladhan fields.

TAQA has 100% operated equity in the Tern, Kestrel, Eider, Cormorant North, South Cormorant, Falcon and Pelican Fields. It has a combined 26.73% interest in the Dana-operated Hudson field and a 24% interest in the Sullom Voe Terminal. It has an interest in the SAGE pipeline and onshore terminal, and the Brae-Miller Linkline. TAQA also operates the Brent System Pipeline.

TAQA’s UK portfolio also consists of 70% operated interest in the Harding field, 70% in the Morrone field  and 37.03% non-operated interest in the Maclure field. In Brae, TAQA has a total interest of 45.7% in Block 16/7a, a total 50.1% interest in East Brae, and a total 65% interest in the Braemar field.

According to Health and Safety Report 2018, published by Oil and Gas UK

  1. The downward trend in reportable incidents continues, with 255 such occurrences in 2017 – 67% lower than in 2000-01. This is the lowest on record
  2. Hydrocarbon releases were the single largest category of reportable incidents (39% of the total), followed by dropped objects (26%)
  3. The most common cause of injury was slips, trips, and falls on the same level, 37% of the total
  4. There were no work-related fatalities in 2017 and the three-year rolling average non-fatal injury rate continued to decrease. This measure is based on the number of over-seven-day and specified injuries
  5. Fractures were the most common type of reportable injury, followed by strains and sprains

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) commercial air transport helicopter flight statistics and reportable accident data for UKCS offshore operations, since 1976 to year-end 2017, over 68 million passengers have been transported to and from UKCS offshore installations on over 8.1 million flights (or sectors flew), totaling nearly four million flying hours. During the same period, 13 fatal accidents have claimed the lives of 119 offshore workers and flight crew. There have also been 61 non-fatal accidents.

Health and Safety Executive ‘HSE” is responsible for regulating health and safety matters offshore, issues Offshore Statistics & Regulatory Activity Report 2018.

HSE stated that, incidents arising from marine activities that are not directly connected with offshore operations (e.g. vessels or rigs in transit). The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has primary responsibility for maritime safety.

  1. and sprains

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) commercial air transport helicopter flight statistics and reportable accident data for UKCS offshore operations, since 1976 to year-end 2017, over 68 million passengers have been transported to and from UKCS offshore installations on over 8.1 million flights (or sectors flew), totaling nearly four million flying hours. During the same period, 13 fatal accidents have claimed the lives of 119 offshore workers and flight crew. There have also been 61 non-fatal accidents.

Health and Safety Executive ‘HSE” is responsible for regulating health and safety matters offshore, issues Offshore Statistics & Regulatory Activity Report 2018.

HSE stated that, incidents arising from marine activities that are not directly connected with offshore operations (e.g. vessels or rigs in transit). The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has primary responsibility for maritime safety.
HSE Headline statistics for 2018 includes :

  • There were no fatal injuries in 2018; there have been six fatalities in the last 10 years
  • There were 19 specified injuries, with a rate of 66 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers
  • There were 87 over-7-day injuries, with a rate of 300 per 100,000 FTE workers
  • There were 235 dangerous occurrences reported
  • There were 112 hydrocarbon releases
  • There were 126 inspections undertaken at 111 offshore installations
  • 134 safety cases were assessed
  • 35 investigations were completed
  • 22 workplace health and safety concerns were followed up
  • 1257 non-compliance issues were raised with operators
  • 32 enforcement notices were issued (30 improvement notices and two prohibition notices)
  • There was one prosecution case initiated in 2018

Moreover, The UK offshore industry operates the Vantage personnel tracking system, which records the number of nights of Persons on Board (PoB). Using this information it can be determined that in 2018, 4.8 million days were spent offshore. It is estimated that there was an offshore population of 29,000 full-time equivalents (FTE) workers in 2018, compared to 29,700 in 2017.

However, according to HSE, there are around 32 000 people work directly in the offshore sector, including electricity generation from renewable technologies (wind, wave and tidal) in UK waters.

Furthermore, there was a total of 106 injuries reported under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations )~ a 2013 statutory instrument of the Parliament of the United Kingdom), with a rate of 365 injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers (FTE).

In addition to all above bodies, UK also have OMAHAC, The Offshore Major Accident Hazards Advisory Committee, which was established in March 2016 to meet the requirements of the Directive 2013/30/EU on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations. In this particular incident case, OMAHAC has no responsibility.

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