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UK safety regime in spotlight after Cullen inquiry report

A quarter of century after the Piper Alpha disaster, offshore regulations are once again top of the industry’s agenda

The loss of 167 lives on Occidental’s Piper Alpha platform in the North Sea remains the offshore oil industry’s worst disaster. While it seems clear the industry’s safety record has improved, there is little room for complacency in an industry still prone to major incidents and where the move into high pressure/high temperature environments is adding to risks. The Piper Alpha disaster resulted from a gas leak whose ignition caused a fire that burnt through three gas risers leading to further leaks and explosions. Many of the more than 220 workers on the platform or involved in the rescue were trapped and unable to escape or be evacuated. The disaster triggered a complete overhaul of safety

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