A survivor of the Piper Alpha disaster has welcomed a scholarship on safety in the oil and gas industry, created in memory of those who died.
The annual award has been launched by industry skills and safety body Opito and is aimed at young people entering the industry.
It is open to postgraduate students undertaking MSc study in safety and reliability engineering; subsea engineering; energy futures (oil and gas), and international business, energy and petroleum.
On the night of July 6, 1988, 167 men were killed in the explosion on the Piper Alpha oil platform in the North Sea.
Survivor Ed Punchard said: “It is important for us to remember the events of that night in a way which is about the future rather than the past.
“I believe that we need to empower a new generation of young people who will be involved in the oil and gas industry in the future, so that they will be fully aware of the dangers inherent in the industry and the need for safety to be a priority at every level. While we cannot bring those who were lost back, it is also important for their families to know that we have not forgotten them and these scholarships will provide a long-lasting legacy to their memory.”
One £12,500 scholarship has been awarded to Olusola Olusuyi, who is an MSc management student at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University.
Two scholarships worth £6,000 each have been awarded to Aberdeen University students Pal Bipin, studying an MSc in subsea engineering, and Ada Bolu, studying an MSc in international business, energy and petroleum.
Opito group chief executive David Doig said: “Piper Alpha was a significant turning point for the oil and gas industry, not just here in the North Sea but far beyond.
“It is vital that the lessons learned are not forgotten but are passed on to the next generation of offshore workers and managers, many of whom weren’t even born when the disaster happened.
“The safety scholarship provides a lasting way of paying tribute to each of the victims by ensuring those who will be responsible for taking the industry forward into the next stage of its evolution are fully aware of the need for the highest levels of safety.”