Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Thursday, 28 January 2010

Fire damages North Sea platform

Erskine platform [Pic: Chevron]
The incident happened on the Erskine gas platform

A North Sea gas platform has been damaged by fire, BBC Scotland has learned.

The blaze happened on the unstaffed Erskine platform, which is 150 miles east of Aberdeen.

Operators Chevron said it burned for two hours after staff shut down production from the Lomond platform, 18 miles away.

The incident happened on Sunday afternoon and the cause is being investigated.

A Chevron spokesperson said: "The installation's monitoring system signalled a fire on the platform and as a result a full shutdown and a depressurisation of facilities were initiated.

We are taking the required precautions before sending people back on to the installation
Chevron spokesperson

"No personnel were on board and all relevant authorities were immediately contacted.

"The fire was confirmed visually, with a helicopter fly-by. About 30 minutes later, a second helicopter determined the fire was out, and this was confirmed with additional fly-bys."

The spokesperson explained: "The damage appears to be contained to the north and north west side of the platform.

"The safety, reliability and integrity of Chevron's assets is a key priority and we are looking at the next stages in this process which will include re-boarding, incident investigation and repair and restart.

"The cause of the incident is not yet known and is currently under investigation. As a result we are taking the required precautions before sending people back on to the installation."

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been informed.



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