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SpaceShipTwo Explosion: Shell Prelude another pioneering venture fraught with risk

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.07.59The New York Times magazine has published an informative article by Robert Sullivan about Prelude, under the appropriate headline:

“The Biggest Ship in the World (Though It Isn’t Exactly a Ship)”

The dangers associated with innovative  technology, with potentially disastrous consequences, are heightened following the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo rocket ship explosion in the US.

To obtain an overall assessment on risks relating to Prelude, the article by Robert Sullivan is best read in conjunction with a series of articles by experts triggered by a well-placed whistleblower directly involved in the equally pioneering Shell Prelude project. Includes articles by Bill Campbell, the retired distinguished HSE Group Auditor of Shell International and Hans Bouman, another retired Shell guru with a track record of spotting potential pitfalls in major Shell projects.

Spotting potential pitfalls is essential bearing in mind that according to The New York Times magazine, it is anticipated that 30 of these giant floating facilities (some might call them potential floating bombs) are to be constructed.

Lets hope the prospect of them being a possible magnet for terrorist activity has also been carefully considered.

It is relevant to note that on the 1st November, Shell Brent Alpha and Bravo North Sea platforms saw the last day of activity after more than four decades of productivity. A safety audit on the platforms in 1999, led by Bill Campbell, exposed a “Touch Fuck All” safety culture in place, with safety records routinely falsified. Mr Campbell reported the damning audit findings. Shell senior management promised to take action, but failed to do so, and a subsequent huge explosion killed workers on the Brent Bravo platform. Shell received a record breaking fine for avoidable fatalities. Profits had been given a higher priority than safety.

We can only hope and pray that Shell has mended its ways.

The recent Arctic drilling debacle suggests otherwise.


Royal Dutch Shell Prelude to disaster?: 10 Jan 2014

Shell Prelude FLNG: loss of containment of hydrocarbons almost inevitable: 21 Feb 2014

What should frighten stiff Royal Dutch Shell shareholders: 15 March 2014

Tales of the Unexpected and Royal Dutch Shell Prelude FLNG: 28 March 2014

Prelude FLNG: A case of all your eggs in the one basket: 10 July 2014

Prelude FLNG risks are on par with modern offshore oil and gas facilities say Shell – but are they?: 23 Sept 2014

Royal Dutch Shell Prelude Project ‘A Step Too Far’: 25 Sept 2014

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One Comment

  1. Akilade Ayotunde says:

    Pioneering, by definition, is entering uncharted territory to transform it into a known domain. Voortrekkers(pioneers) everywhere earn high accolades for risks taken and obstacles overcome. Reconnaissance is a part of every venture in every sphere of life and the benefits accrued make it worthwhile. Those who pay the price to make ventures possible deserve the highest honours. Risktaking is a necessary evil.