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Talisman Sinopec Closes North Sea Platform Ahead of Storm

Source: Reuters 12/4/2013, Location: Europe

Talisman Sinopec has closed its Buchan Alpha platform in the North Sea ahead of an approaching winter storm, the company confirmed.

The Buchan Alpha is a floating production installation that contributes fewer than 5,000 barrels of oil per day to the Forties crude stream. Forties is one of four crudes that underpin the Brent benchmark.

A spokeswoman for the company, a joint venture between Canada's Talisman and China's Sinopec, said workers were being removed because of a risk that waves will be bigger than 6.75 metres for a prolonged period.

The UK's Met Office has issued an amber "be prepared" warning for parts of the British Isles for Thursday, with storms forecast across the North Sea.

On Tuesday, 68 people were taken off the platform and the remaining 17 flew back to Aberdeen on Wednesday, Talisman Sinopec said.

Britain's regulatory regime requires all offshore operators to submit a "safety case" to the UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outlining how major accident risks will be managed.

"Talisman Sinopec Energy advised HSE yesterday that they had made the decision to down man the Buchan Alpha," an HSE spokesman said.

The "safety case" requires Talisman Sinopec temporarily to remove staff from Buchan Alpha if the weather forecast suggests there will be helideck movement outside the limits defined by the Civil Aviation Authority for helicopter operations.

"Production will remain shut down while we continue to monitor the weather conditions," the Talisman Sinopec spokeswoman said, adding that normal operations would resume when conditions improved.

Conoco moved 157 people off its Ekofisk field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea on Tuesday and BP moved around 120 people off Valhall.

So far no other notifications of such movements have been received by the HSE from other operations in Britain's North Sea sector, the HSE spokesman said.

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Related Categories: Diving Contractors  Dredging  FPSO Vessels and Equipment  General  Marine Services  Mooring Systems  Offshore Platforms  Subsea Production 

Related Articles: Diving Contractors  Dredging  FPSO Vessels and Equipment  General  Marine Services  Mooring Systems  Offshore Platforms  Subsea Production 


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