In a unique twist on an oil contamination event, workers on a BP sea platform were forced to evacuate due to continued problems with diesel entering the platform’s water supply.
A red flag was first raised on the BP Magnus platform, located in the North Sea about 100 miles from the Shetland Islands, when workers smelled oil while showering. BP was initially confident that the contamination was so minor that there was no reason for alarm.
“Following reports of possible contamination of the water supply on the Magnus platform bottled water was distributed and restrictions were placed on the use of the platform’s potable water supply,” BP said in a statement, per BBC. “Sampling of the supply showed there was some contamination at very low levels, far below that which may cause health issues.”
Even though BP flushed its potable water tanks, it started removing workers from the platform several days later.
“BP said 40 non-essential staff were being taken off the platform but said the level of contamination was low,” reported the BBC in a follow up. “BP said it had flushed the tanks and was confident there was no longer any contamination. But it has now said the supply narrowly failed a quality test last week.”
Per the BBC, the company was still investigating the root cause of the contamination issue as of late last week. It decided to leave a fair number of employees in place and made reassurances that these people would not be in any kind of danger.
“About 140 people will remain on the platform,” the BBC reported. “BP said the level of contamination to the water supply was far below the level that could cause health problems.”
To read more about contamination problems in the oil and gas sector visit Water Online’s Water & Wastewater Treatment For The Petroleum & Refining Industry.
Image credit: "Oil Platforms at Cromarty firth.," greig Davidson [ off-line due to ill health], 2012, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/