Staff returns to Thistle Alpha platform

All nonessential staff, totaling 116, returned to the Thistle Alpha platform in the UK northern North Sea by Nov. 27 following the outbreak of a serious fire on Nov. 24.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 5 -- All nonessential staff, totaling 116, returned to the Thistle Alpha platform in the UK northern North Sea by Nov. 27 following the outbreak of a serious fire on Nov. 24.

Lundin Petroleum AB, which operates the platform, said no casualties were reported. The fire started in the turbine module.

"Safety systems and the emergency response team worked well," said Lundin Petroleum. "A full investigation is being conducted into the incident. Production has been shut down." The platform usually delivers net production of 4,400 boe/d, a spokeswoman told OGJ.

The company has rolled out a major investment program to ensure continuing production from Thistle, including reinstallation of the Thistle drilling rig and shooting new 3D seismic over the field.

Thistle Alpha, which is 523 km northeast of Aberdeen, comprises a steel jacket supporting a 3-deck platform, accommodations, and helideck.

The fire follows a report published by the UK Health and Safety Executive last week that safety on oil and gas platforms needs to be seriously improved (OGJ Online, Nov. 26, 2007).

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

More in Drilling & Production