News main high-pressure, high-temperature fuel discovery has been made east of Aberdeen could have cheered oil firm Total’s shareholders, China, and even perhaps the UK Government. Though by the way in which successive governments have under-taxed the oil giants and squandered the income – who is aware of what they’ll consider this newest discovery? Maybe they assume that wealth is healthier off within the palms of huge enterprise and the Chinese state and can trickle right down to UK residents.
The remainder of us? Those of us involved sixth mass extinction on earth is being pushed – this time by humankind – within the type of international warming largely because of burning hydrocarbon fuels? We’re much less prone to be overjoyed. Total’s offshore workforce will stay of their present dilemma. They could really feel that their jobs are safer. But their lives? Maybe not a lot.
There has been little response from Total or some other offshore staff since 238 males got here “perilously near catastrophe” in March 2012 when Total presided over a blowout that noticed 1000’s of cubic meters of flammable fuel spew onto the Elgin and Rowan Viking installations.
All the whereas a unadorned flame burnt within the flare stack as a result of Total, towards their very own guidelines, stored manufacturing flowing and largely did not risk-assess what they had been doing whereas they made a whole canine’s breakfast of the properly kill. And the HSE seemed on unable to intervene.
It’s not even as if this was a one-off. The HSE’s power director, Chris Flint, is on report saying that there have been a number of different (at the least a dozen since Elgin) main hydrocarbon releases which have come perilously near catastrophe, releases which have “better potential to result in fires, explosions and a number of losses of life”.
This startling admission has not been adopted up by one phrase of self-criticism by the company that was introduced onto the North Sea after Piper Alpha as security regulator, and was imagined to have been Lord Cullen’s biggest achievement.
SNP MP Alison Thewliss has diligently pursued successive ministers of state in an try and establish the teachings which can be claimed have been learnt and delivered to the eye of the North Sea workforce.
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Having acquired no assurance from the minister that this bottom-line security precaution has truly been taken by Total or the HSE, Alison Thewliss is now ready to attend a gathering with HSE, provided by the minister, the place robust illustration might be made to HSE to doc the errors made and disseminate the teachings all through the trade. In quick, to forewarn and forearm the workforce who face catastrophe when security usually fails.
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