ConocoPhillips has been hit with an improvement notice over a “significant” release of gas from a storage tank on a North Sea platform.
The company has been given until next month to deal with the improvement notice.
The incident happened on the LOGGS platform (Lincolnshire Offshore Gas Gathering System) in the Southern North Sea.
A report written up by an inspector said the firm had “failed to ensure” that the Low Pressure Vent Knock Out Drum was “constructed or adapted to be suitable for the purpose for which it was used or provided.”
It’s understood the incident on May 4th this year led a backflow of gas and an “uncontrolled significant release of gas”.
The report said: “ConocoPhillips (UK) Ltd. failed to ensure that the Low Pressure Vent Knock Out Drum (52D-C-E8101) was constructed or adapted to be suitable for the purpose for which it was used or provided.
“On the 4 May 2016, the Low Pressure Vent Knock Out Drum became liquid locked leading to a back pressure on the LP Flare Vent system, and then to a backflow of gas to the Foamer Storage Tank (52D-D-7401A/B) and an uncontrolled significant release of gas via gooseneck vents on top of the Foamer Storage Tank into the workplace.
“The level bridle in place on the said knock out drum to indicate the level of liquid had been in poor condition and possibly unreadable for a number of years.
“A non-standard tubing arrangement had been fitted as an alternative to check the level of liquid however the manual checks had failed to identify the rising liquid before the uncontrolled gas release occurred.”
A spokeswoman for the company said: “Safety is top priority for ConocoPhillips and we are working closely with the HSE to implement the measures required to comply with the notice.”