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The Scotsman: Shell’s North Cormorant rig hit by ‘small fire’

FRANK URQUHART
 
A “VERY small” fire broke out on Shell’s North Cormorant rig north-east of the Shetland islands early yesterday.

The blaze came just three days after a major fire on Lundin Petroleum’s Thistle Alpha installation.

The Shell fire was contained within a turbine hood on a water injection pump on the oil giant’s North Cormorant platform, 109 miles from Shetland.

A spokeswoman for Shell said that the fire, which began in the early morning, had been extinguished immediately by the platform’s own fire protection system.

All 106 personnel on board the rig were called to muster stations as a matter of routine.

However, they were allowed to return to work within 15 minutes of the alert.

A spokeswoman said that Shell would be carrying out its own investigation into the fire.

The government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has also been informed about the incident.

The Thistle Alpha fire was described as “very serious” and more than 100 workers had to be evacuated.

A total of six rescue helicopters, the Coastguard and a Nimrod aircraft were scrambled to the rig in heavy seas and snowstorms.

That blaze, which broke out at 8am and was out by 10:45am on Sunday, happened the week after an HSE inspection of the offshore industry’s oil and gas installations described the overall state of more than half the platforms as poor.

http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1862632007

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