•The Piper Alpha was a North Sea Oil Production platform operated by Occidental Petroleum(Caledonia)Ltd. •The platform began production in 1976,first as an oil platform and then later converted to gas production.

•An explosion and resulting fire destroyed it on July 6,1988, killing 167 men. •Total insured loss was about £1.7 billion(US$ 3.4 billion). •To date it is the world’s worst offshore oil disaster in terms of lives lost and impact to industry.

On 6 July 1988,a leakage of natural gas condensate, which had build up beneath the platform, ignited, causing a massive explosion ignited secondary oil fires, melting the riser of an upstream gas pipeline. Released gas caused a 2nd,larger explosion, engulfed the entire platform. Only 62 crewmembers survived out of 229 on board that day;167 perished.


Alpha Piper

Early Stage of The Explosion

Evening of The Explosion

Night of The Explosion

After The Explosion

The main problem -The personnel who had authority to order evacuation had been killed when the 1st explosion destroyed the control room. This was a consequence of design of the platform, including the absence of blast walls. Another contributing factor was that a nearby platform (the Tartan) continue to pump gas into the heart of the fire until its pipeline ruptured in the heat. The operations crew on the Tartan did not have authority to shut off production even though they could see that Piper Alpha was burning.

 Nearby support vessel Lowland Cavalier reported the initial explosion  20 minutes later, civil & military rescue helicopters reached  Tharos could not pump sufficient water to approach it until after 2 hours.

The fire was eventually put out by a team led by famed firefighter red Adair in which he claims he had to battle 80 mph winds and 70-foot waves.


 Enforcement on regulatory of

offshore installation
 Demonstrate an effective Safety Management System  HSE 1991

 Enforcement of PERMIT-TOWORK System


Temporary Safe Refuge (TSR)
 Prevent smoke ingress

Evacuation & escape
 More than 1 route to helicopters & lifeboats  Provide secondary escape equipments e.g. : ropes, ladders & nets

 Emergency Shutdown Valves/System  Place proper location for easy cut-off fuel supply in case of fire  Backup valves  Maintenance

 Provide annual safety training  Inspection is vital  Proper plant for maintenance

 Fire protection
 Provide fire brigade team Control fire in early stage

 Continual improvement of safety management

Do you as a safety officer in the future would like this accident happen again?

The End…….

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