A Hampshire-based energy company has been fined for releasing natural gas and crude oil.
Humbly Grove Energy Limited is a top tier COMAH operator whose main activity is the injection of natural gas into depleted underground oil reservoir for storage.
Winchester Crown Court heard how on 26 February 2014, an incident occurred during a maintenance operation involving the release of approximately 145 kg of natural gas into the atmosphere, together with some crude oil onto the concrete lined kerbed process area; resulting in the formation of a flammable gas cloud. While the two employees directly undertaking the work were unharmed, they were exposed to a risk of fire and explosion.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the employees involved were inadequately trained and supervised and did not follow the permit to work and isolation procedures. Humbly Grove Energy Limited, of Humbly Grove Oilfield, Alton, Hampshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,000.