NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Oil firm Talisman Sinopec served improvement notice

Oil platform flare Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The records showed that as of 6 November, there were 182 "safety critical" work orders.

An oil company has been served with an improvement notice after inspectors found more than 180 "safety critical" work orders outstanding on one platform.

Talisman Sinopec had not been given approval to delay 159 of the orders on the Clyde platform.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an inspection last November.

The company has been given until the end of May to comply.

The inspector's report said the operators had failed to properly implement its procedures and had failed to effectively control its preventative and protective safety measures.

A Talisman Sinopec spokesperson said: "We have made substantial progress in addressing the issues raised by the HSE and are well ahead of the target of complying with the terms of the Notice by the deadline of May 2015.

"The safe operation of all TSEUK sites is our number one priority.

"The facility remains fully operational and the safety of all those on-board is not compromised by the matter identified by the HSE."

Work orders

WWF Scotland has expressed concern that a number of work orders were able to build up on the Clyde platform.

The charity's director Lang Banks said: "It's good to know that the HSE is doing its job well. However, it's extremely worrying to learn that Talisman Sinopec has allowed such a large list of safety critical work orders to build up on this one platform.

"It's critical that regulators do not allow oil and gas operators to use the current difficulties being faced by the industry as an excuse to cut corners when it comes to protecting people or the environment."

Earlier this week, Talisman announced plans for 300 job losses from its North Sea operations.

It said 100 staff and 200 contractors would be affected, from a workforce of about 3,000.

The company said it needed to take appropriate action to offset the declining oil price and increasing operating costs.

BP, Shell, Chevron and Conoco Phillips have all announced reductions to their workforces recently.

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