Norway’s petroleum safety agency has completed an investigation into a fire that broke out on BPs North Sea Valhall oil platform. The investigation found that the company had committed serious safety breaches which led to the fire.
The fire broke out last July when a crane engine overheated. The sparks ignited inflammable gases, leading to an explosion and fire. Firefighters battled for more than an hour to extinguish the flames.
The offshore incident did not result in injuries to any of the crew members on the oil platform. However according to the report, the incident had been serious enough to cause serious loss of life and injuries.
According to Norway’s Petroleum Safety Agency, its investigation has identified a number of safety breaches related to lack of maintenance, inadequacies of risk identification and maintenance management. The investigation found particular fault with the production and maintenance of the crane engine, and inadequacy of the fire detection system. It also found problems with the management of work processes. Important safety equipment on the crane that should have prevented the fire, were not maintained properly.
The agency has now completed and submitted its report, and has ordered the establishment of high standards to prevent such disasters in the future. The agency has set a deadline of February 1 for BP to submit a plan to prevent such accidents in the future.