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Shell evacuates workers from Brent Alpha and Bravo

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.22.47By John Donovan 

After all the Royal Dutch Shell senior management promises to improve safety on Shell North Sea platforms, serious incidents continue to occur. is reporting that Shell workers have today been evacuated from the Brent Alpha and Bravo platforms after a crane dropped a large container into the North Sea. 


The container, which was in the process of being winched onto a support vessel when the incident unfolded, initially rested dangerously close to a mass of subsea pipelines which connect into the Far North Liquids & Associated Gas System (Flags) pipeline.

A Shell spokeswoman confirmed both the Brent Alpha and Bravo have since been depressurised and a decision was made to evacuate all non-essential personnel today. She said: “Shell UK can confirm that an incident occurred on its Brent Alpha platform involving a lifting operation to transfer a container unit to an adjacent support vessel at around 1750hrs on Sunday 28 September 2014. The Brent Alpha platform is located approximately 115 miles North East of Lerwick. “Personnel on the platform were called to muster, all of whom are safe and well. As a precaution the Brent Alpha and Bravo, which were already shut down as part of ongoing maintenance works, were depressurised.

A rescue operation has since been launched and a vessel is currently travelling to the Brent field.



Shell’s Brent Alpha fall container lowered to sea bed

A safety audit on the Brent Bravo platform in 1999 led by Bill Campbell exposed a “Touch F*** All” culture with safety records routinely falsified. The damning audit report was passed to then Shell EP director Malcolm Brinded, who made promises to remedy the situation that were not kept. Instead Brinded decided to put profits before safety. Hence the subsequent deadly explosion followed by a cover-up at the highest level of Royal Dutch Shell.

It seems from recently published articles and the evacuation news today that despite all the pledges and the appointment of a so-called safety Czar, nothing has changed.

Mark Carne and his former Shell colleague Malcolm Brinded were both responsible for Brent Bravo at one time and are now both involved with the UK railways, a development which does not inspire confidence in rail safety, despite recent comments by Mr Carne.

As always, it is deeds, not words, which count. 


Mark Carne and the Shell Brent Bravo Scandal

Exclusive: Network Rail CEO slams rail safety record: Construction News-Sep 10, 2014

Network Rail chiefs cut board out spending decisions: Evening Standard-Sep 4, 2014

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