In an article published yesterday, we asked if anyone could supply a report in English of the tank explosion in The Netherlands last year at a NAM location in Warffum. Within 24 hours a Shell insider has very kindly obliged and the report is featured below.
NB NAM is the Shell operating company in the Netherlands, the exact counterpart of Shell Expro in the UK. The fatal accident in Warffum involving a Shell company may well be of interest to the experts assessing the Fatal Accident Report released yesterday in regard to the Shell Brent Scandal in which another two workers tragically had lost their lives.
THE INFORMATION SUPPLIED
Assen/Bunnik, 1 juni 2005
Tuesday May 31st 2005, GTI received the tragic news that two fatalities have been caused by a water condensate tank explosion at a NAM location near Warffum. The two victims were contractors working for GTI on maintenance and construction activities. A third contractor was injured. Our thoughts will be with the family and friends.
For further information please contact:
Leen Geschiere, Concern marketing and communications
Kosterijland 50, 3981 AJ Bunnik; P.O. Box 210, 3980 CE Bunnik, the Netherlands
Telephone: +31 (0)30 656 94 00; fax: +31 (0)30 656 94 15;
e-mail: [email protected] ; internet: www.gti-group.com
Press release NAM, 31 May 2005 19.00 PM (www.nam.nl)
Water condensate tank explosion causes two fatalities at NAM location Warffum
May 31 2005
The Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM) today regrets to announce that two fatalities have been caused by a water condensate tank explosion at a NAM location near Warffum. The two victims were contractors working for GTI on maintenance and construction activities. The next of kin of both people have been informed.
Deputy Director Rien Herber said: “Our heart goes out to the family members. We are shocked by this tragic incident. This is a black day for our company”.
Two people were injured by the explosion. One person was another contractor who was carrying out activities at the location, who was admitted to hospital for treatment. A fire fighter was also injured but returned home after treatment.
The explosion occurred at approximately 9 o’clock this morning. After the explosion a fire broke out. By approximately 10:30 the fire had been extinguished. The explosion occurred in a water condensate tank. In this tank, water and condensate (light oil, similar to petrol) was stored. These are fluids released during gas production.
Since April of this year maintenance and construction activities have been carried out at the Warffum location. The two victims were on the roof of the water condensate tank conducting work. Exact activities at the time of the explosion have not yet been established, but will be part of the investigation conducted by NAM and by several other agencies.
During a press conference arranged by Mayor Renkema of the Eemsmond municipality, where the NAM location near Warffum is based, NAM Deputy Director Rien Herber announced a thorough investigation. “These types of activities are carried out according to strict safety procedures, yet this tragic accident occurred. We must know what has gone wrong and learn from it so that this cannot happen again.”
NAM has launched its own investigation, as have the State Supervision of Mines (SodM). SodM are coordinating their action with the Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid [Safety Investigation Council] and the Labour Inspectorate. The Public Prosecution Ministry (OM) has also established an investigation.
Herber: “Of course we will cooperate entirely in the investigations, and we will share our findings with the agencies. Also, when our investigations are complete, our results will be made public, so that everyone in the industry can use the knowledge.”
The location Warffum is one of dozens of gas production facilities in the Netherlands that NAM uses to produce gas from small gas fields. The installation at Warffum has been in use since the late seventies.