CUI Major Incident# 12: Marathon Oil Platform Incident
Sep 16, 2020
Date and place of Incident:
On 26 December 2015, the explosion occurred at Marathon Oil's Brae Alpha platform, located at 155 miles north east of Aberdeen, UK.
Summary of Incident:
The explosion occurred in eight-inch diameter high pressure pipe of the platform which ruptured and resulted in the release of high-pressure methane gas almost instantly.
- The main factor of explosion is the corrosion under insulation (CUI).
- The corrosion was occurred by the salt water from one of the fire extinguishing rig systems which utilized seawater
Fatality and Injury:
No fatality and injury was reported in the incident
Financial Loss to Freedom Industry:
The plant was fined of £1.16m for not following the SOP’s properly.
Environmental impact of the Incident:
Over a North Sea, gas leak pipeline ruptured, and resulted in release of more than two tonnes of high pressure methane gas, and caused considerable damages.
Non-Compliance of Safety Guidelines and Reliability Practices:
- Failure to carry out any appropriate and adequate inspections of the pipeline that would have allowed the company to discover the risks and avoid the explosion.
- The suitable and sufficient measures if put in place could help in preventing the incident.
Recommendation to Avoid Corrosion:
- Proper inspection of corrosion pipework before and during the service.
- Proper implementation of corrosion controlled programs.
- Immediate detection and alarm system for pipe leak.
Links to the photos/videos: