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Shell launches investigation after North Sea exploration well triggers alarm

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Written by Rita Brown – 04/12/2016 3:54 pm

Shell has launched an investigation after it was forced to shut down and evacuate personnel from its Shearwater platform in the North Sea.

The oil major was drilling, what was thought to an exploration well, when the activity triggered an alarm.

Shell decided to evacuate all non-essential personnel and shut down operations.

A spokeswoman said: “Shell UK can confirm that production on our Shearwater platform was shut down on the evening of Friday 2nd December as a precaution due to an alarm being triggered during work on a new well. There has been no loss of containment. The coastguard and regulator were informed and the situation is being closely monitored. A precautionary downman took place on Saturday returning 62 non-essential personnel safely to Aberdeen. The platform remains shutdown in the meantime.”

She said there were no injuries and no gas or oil leaks as part of the incident.

Shearwater is located in the Central North Sea about 140 miles east of Aberdeen.

It is classed as a Process, Utilities and Quarters (PUQ) platform, which is bridge linked to a Wellhead (WH) Platform. The Shearwater field is a high pressure, high temperature (HP/HT) reservoir. Gas is piped via the SEAL pipeline to Bacton. Oil is piped through the GAEL pipeline in toe the Forties pipeline and then onto Cruden Bay and Grangemouth.

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