Tue 6 Mar 2007
SHELL, the oil giant, was served with ten improvement notices relating to its offshore operations last year by the government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – the highest of any of the North Sea’s main operators, it emerged yesterday.
The HSE said the number of notices reflected continuing concerns over Shell’s need to improve its performance, two years after it was fined a record £900,000 for safety failings which led to a massive gas escape in 2003 on the giant Brent Bravo installation in which two men died.
It was revealed yesterday that one of the improvement notices served on Shell last year concerned the maintenance of oil export pipework related to a platform in the Brent field.
A spokesman for the HSE said: “The number of notices we have served on Shell reflects the fact that we have had concerns about their performance offshore. We will continue, wherever our inspectors judge it appropriate, to serve notices requiring improvements to be made, or stop activities we think give rise to unnecessary risk.”
The spokesman said the situation involving Shell was far from unique and some 12,000 improvement notices were served every year in the various industries regulated by the agency.
A spokeswoman for Shell declined to comment, but a company source said none of the notices concerned platform-critical equipment.
Last updated: 06-Mar-07 03:45 GMT