CUI Major Incident# 12: Marathon Oil Platform Incident

cui incidents 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.

Root cause:

  • 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:




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