HSE scolds Premier Oil over ‘inadequate’ explosion procedures on Balmoral

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has handed Premier Oil an improvement notice on the Balmoral platform.

A March 2019 inspection of the North Sea platform found Premier Oil had “not taken appropriate measures” in order to prevent fire and explosion.

HSE said that the firm did not have adequate measures in place to ensure “safe production and handling of flammable and explosive substances”.

The notice was served concerning the poor “procedures and arrangements” Premier had put in place within its process plant.

The company responded by claiming it operated all of its assets in a “safe and responsible manner”.

The firm received a separate prohibition notice by the HSE on the Balmoral platform last month.

Premier Oil was warned by the safety regulators that the platform’s flare created a safety risk.

The notice, also serviced in March, said gases were not being burnt by the flare system.

HSE said it created “potential” for gas from the “unignited flare” to accumulate on the installation, “resulting in a risk of fire and explosion”.

Today’s notice claimed Premier’s operational risk assessments “had not been carried out” over a number of months, adding that the firm had also not been carrying out quarterly reviews.

A spokesman for Premier Oil said: “It is our highest priority to operate all of our assets in a safe and responsible manner.

“Premier has updated the procedures identified by the HSEx improvement notices and these are now being reviewed ahead of implementation to ensure that Premier continues to meet all best practice operating standards.”

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