Also, the probability of such an accident could be made arbitrarily small by controlling the level of detail in which the accident is described. Furthermore, macondo raises regulatory concerns for the us just as the 1988 piper alpha disaster. The piper alpha tragedy piper alpha was a large fixed structure platform located about 120 miles north east of aberdeen that was linked to two other platforms. The piper alpha incident is still regarded as the worst offshore oil disaster in the history of the uk. A mix of maintenance issues caused management to shift to an alternate mode that was rarely used and which put a higher level of stress 650 psi. Learning from the piper alpha accident semantic scholar. The crew worked to resolve the issue before platform production was affected. Jul 04, 20 e ven 25 years on, charles haffeys most powerful memory of the piper alpha disaster was the overwhelming, deafening noise.
Piper alpha was an oil production platform on north sea, approximately 110 miles from aberdeen, which was operated by occidental petroleum caledonia ltd. If piper alpha disaster occurs today most of the uk offshore legislation regime will apply. Accident investigation 4 introduction the incident covered in this study is piper alpha disaster which took place in 1988. It began production in 1976, initially as an oilonly platform but later converted to add gas production. At about 10 pm, a simple miscommunication and safety lapse involving one of the platforms two condensate pumps caused a chain reaction, culminating in a chain reaction of explosions that completely destroyed the entire piper alpha oil rig. Pdf the british offshore oil industry after piper alpha. Speaking at the conference, he said management had failed to accept. It was connected by an oil pipeline to flotta and by gas pipelines to two other installations. The piper alpha disaster which killed 167 workers on 6 july 1988 off the coast of aberdeen is the worldsdeadliest ever oil rig accident. Jul 03, 2018 piper alpha served as the catalyst for this major change, hudson wrote 10 years after the accident. Piper alpha the house of lords landmark decision gard. The accident that occurred on board the offshore platform piper alpha in july 1988 killed 167 people and cost billions of dollars in property damage. The rig produced oil, gas and condensate primarily propane and was linked to two other drilling platforms via large undersea pipelines.
According to rae, occidental pushed piper alphas systems to their maximum capacity from the outset. Lessons learnt, 2008 piper alpha was a large north sea oil platform that started production in 1976. Within seconds a major unstabilised crudeoil fire developed and all but the wellhead area and the lower parts of. Importance learning from major incident piper alpha disaster. Julian turner charts the safety improvements that have taken place in the 25 years since the worst accident in the history of the oil and gas industry. In fact, a number of offshore incidents in australia since. An explosion on the piper alpha platform occurred in july 1988. I say this because almost all the current offshore regulatory regime is direct bequest of the piper alpha incident all the 106 recommendations of lord cullen is being implemented by offshore industry. Piper alpha re ceived and sent to the shore the oil and gas production of a group of platforms. In the following sections we will examine the causes of the piper alpha oil rig explosion and the subsequent inquiry into the incident that claimed 167 crew members lives. The accident killed 165 out of 226 crew members and two crew members from the standby vessel sandhaven. Piper alpha is an offshore oil and gas platform that suffered an explosion. Aug 20, 20 the piper alpha disaster in 1988 shocked the world, and changed offshore safety management and legislation in the north sea beyond recognition. The explosion and fire on the piper alpha platform, 6 july.
Pipe lift raft on its aunching platform efore h, init. Piper alpha timeline piper alpha was a large offshore rig based 100km off the coast of aberdeen. In 1988, piper alpha was operated by occidental petroleum caledonia ltd opcal, a wholly. An explosion and resulting oil and gas fires destroyed piper alpha on 6 july 1988, killing 167. The piper alpha disaster in 1988 shocked the world, and changed offshore safety management and legislation in the north sea beyond recognition. What caused the giant piper alpha oil rig explosion. Piper 1 piper alpha case history the following information has been taken from the uk government publication the public inquiry into the piper alpha disaster the lord cullen report. As shifts changed and the night crew aboard alpha piper assumed duties for the evening, one of the platforms two condensate pumps failed. The 1988 piper alpha disaster remains one of the worst. The mcp01 pumping station was also connected directly to the. May 06, 20 piper alpha that killed 167 workers in the worlds deadliest offshore oil industry disaster.
The conference marked the anniversary of the piper alpha disaster, which lord cullen investigated on behalf of the government. Jul 04, 20 the piper alpha disaster which killed 167 workers on 6 july 1988 off the coast of aberdeen is the worldsdeadliest ever oil rig accident. As part of its macondo investigation, the csb held a public hearing in december 2010 on the international use of. It appears your web browser is not configured to display pdf files. It was caused by a massive fire, which was not the result of an unpredictable act of god but of an accumulation of errors and questionable decisions. So other platforms continued production and pumping of gas for sometime which supplied additional fuel to the fire at piper.
Piper alpha that killed 167 workers in the worlds deadliest offshore oil industry disaster. On july 6, 1988, in the piper oilfield, north sea, the worlds deadliest offshore oil industry disaster took place. Lord cullen at the safety 30 piper alpha conference at aecc in june 2018. In 1988, piper alpha endured a gas leak with the subsequent fire and explosion reducing her to a wreck, ending up on the bottom of the north sea. Pdf it has now been well over 20 years since the north sea piper alpha disaster in.
Within seconds a major unstabilised crudeoil fire developed and all but the wellhead area and the lower parts of the platform were engulfed in smoke. The incident that changed the whole industry piper alphawas anorth sea oil platform operated by occidental petroleumwhich began production in 1976 as an oil platform which later was converted to gas production an explosion and the resulting fires destroyed the entire platform on 6 th of july 1988, killing 167 workers the total insured loss of the platform. Bbc nine oclock news piper alpha 7th july 1988 part one duration. It was connected by an oil pipeline to flotta and by. Piper alpha free download as powerpoint presentation. Piper alpha have served to demonstrate flaws in safety systems and procedures. In a managed organisation it is still necessary to check and control externally. Hudson also saw in piper alpha the need for safety to become a cultural, rather than management imperative.
Piper alpha est le nom dune ancienne plateforme petroliere situee en mer du nord pres du. Speaking at the conference, he said management had failed to accept signs of danger in the years of the worlds. May 25, 2014 importance learning from major incident piper alpha disaster 1 comment i t is vital that lessons are learned from all major incidents, as management, cultural and technical failure i. Summary the investigation into the piper alpha disaster has much to teach us thirty years on.
Download adobe acrobat or click here to download the pdf file. Piper alpha presentation safety emergency incident free. It produced oil from 24 wells and in its early life it had also produced gas from two wells. Piper alpha continued to export just under 120,000 barrels of oil.
A pipeline network connected the piper alpha to the tartan and claymore production platforms, to the mcp01 gas pumping station, and to the flotta oil terminal on the orkney isles. Both oil and gas was pumped from the two other platforms to piper alpha and subsequently pumped to. Piper alpha presentation free download as powerpoint presentation. But on july 6, 1988, the entire structure became consumed by a devastating and deadly fire.
About piper alpha 35 in 1976 platform started production of oil. This article argues that there has been no clearly discernable pattern of improvement in terms of offshore incidents since the postpiper alpha. Since drilling began in the north sea in the 1970s there have been 300 deaths on britains 123 oil installations, often in accidents caused by bad weather. Piper alpha 25 years on have we learned the lessons. Piper alpha was a large north sea oil platform that started production in 1976. The piper alpha platform is the largest and oldest platform in the north sea oilfield.
It began production in 1976, but on july 6, 1988 it was the site of the worlds. Piper alpha platform, north sea offshore technology oil. Piper alpha proved spectacularly productive and when the operator, occidental, sought permission to increase rates, permission was granted on condition that gas should also be exported instead of being flared. Piper alpha was a large oil production platform in the north sea about 170 kilometers northeast of aberdeen. This is piper alpha spiral to disaster bbc by green world group on vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. Part of the problem of trying to examine this event is its complexity. The death toll included two crewmen of a rescue vessel. Just a sample of presentation format for piper alpha disaster cause which may help u in preparation for something like this in the future. For instance, an action as simple as misplacing a permittowork certificate was just one of the root causes of the piper alpha incident in the north sea. For similar platforms and for a welldefined class of accidents, however, this study is the.
While this 5 summary has been condensed and paraphrased, it is believed to been consistent with the. Therefore, most of the personnel could not make decision to evacuate when the incident happens lord caplen,1997. In 1976 the platform began producing oil then was later converted to add gas production to its capabilities. E ven 25 years on, charles haffeys most powerful memory of the piper alpha disaster was the overwhelming, deafening noise. The headlines kept coming, as did the funerals and memorial services. There are other parallels that can be drawn from piper alpha, too, in management, cultural and technical failures that contributed to the loss of the oil rig and 167 lives. At the time of the piper alpha incident the workforce lived in a world where cuttingedge technology was a fax machine, so the first that those working offshore knew of the incident was through newspapers. Jul 05, 20 the 1988 piper alpha tragedy claimed 167 lives after a gas leak caused the oil production platform to explode in a massive ball of flames. It began exporting oil from the piper oilield discovered. Bibliography building process safety culture tool kit. Aug 01, 20 lecture by brian appleton technical adviser to the enquiry on piper alpha accident. The specific series of events that turned a simple process safety incident into a disaster began with a decision to change the mode of production on the platform.
Witness some of the harrowing stories of the 1988 explosion at piper alpha. Professionalismpiper alpha oil rig disaster wikibooks. The vast inferno created by simultaneous eruptions from ruptured gas and. A massive explosion 120 miles out to sea ignites a fight for survival for 226 men. Failure of process safety management on every level. The accident that occurred on board the offshore platform piper alpha in july 1988 killed 167.304 401 558 1385 638 158 558 1005 1326 274 329 1557 97 865 538 301 14 1202 883 811 517 6 1278 371 1531 573 1051 30 332 222 248 1523 757 721 1444 73 526 614 1182 797 1059 1264 1016 257