A North Sea platform at the centre of an investigation after two separate fires caused a shut down by safety chiefs, it has emerged.
The Press and Journal revealed earlier this year that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served operator CNR International with two notices following blazes on the Tiffany Platform in January and April.
CNR said at the time that it had halted work on the platform to allow a detailed investigation to take place.
But it emerged last night that the UK Government body actually issued the firm with a prohibition notice – which halts all work – after the second incident.
One source said workers were “worried about safety” on the Tiffany, while Jake Molloy, of the RMT union, has claimed the platform was “past its sell-by date”.
According to the latest notice, a technical problem led to oil leaks on both occasions – leaks which then ignited.
“You (CNR) have failed to ensure effective controls to maintain the integrity of the crude oil booster pump C and crude oil booster pump A, allowing an uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons resulting in fires on January 17 and April 6 respectively,” it said.
It added that the second fire in April was “fuelled” by oil in a nearby line.
In January’s fire on the Tiffany, the sprinklers did not activate automatically and had to be triggered manually.
Energy Voice understands the fault lay in the design of the fire-detection system rather than maintenance.
The HSE issued CNR with two improvement notices over the incident.
The company said the April fire – which happened on the production deck – had been small and localised.
The fire was put out by the platform’s fixed systems and emergency response team. Workers on the platform were called to muster stations and production was shut down as part of the response to the incident.
All 121 personnel on board were safely accounted for.
The company said production would remain shut down until all “appropriate and necessary assurance activities have been completed”.
Nobody from the company was available to comment on the prohibition notice last night.