Gas leak from drilling into live line

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Alert ID: 
Description of Task: 

Gas leak from drilling into live line

On Monday 26th May at 16:24 a gas release occurred whilst destructing the redundant flow streams of the metering package. The flow lines were being cut into sections before being removed by the platform crane. A drill was being utilised to create a pilot hole to enable a powered saw to cut the pipework. The drill operative was working ahead of the saw operator and had drilled a series of holes into the redundant pipework when he positioned himself next to the live gas line stub end. A 6mm hole was drilled into the adjacent live line and there was a release of hydrocarbon.

The drill operator raised the alarm and the platform was shut in and topsides vented. The platform export pressure at the time was 19 PSIG.

Lessons Identified: 

Mark redundant pipework so that it is identifiable from live pipework;

Ensure comprehensive risk assessments are carried out at site, communicated to the work party and properly documented;

Verify the experience of people in your platform (e.g. new starts).  Ensure the hi-viz hat cover policy is adhered to;

Ensure there is suitable supervision to the level of experiencie on board;

Ensure sufficient training of Control of Work processes and hazard identification processes.  


Provide a comprehensive decommissioned/redundant equipment register;

Mark up redundant lines to identify them from live plant, and verifiy labelling on a regular basis;

Enhance the quality of workpacks to ensure every aspect of work is captured, inclusive of risk assessment (marked-up redundant pipework should have been captured in past one)

Ensure a comprehensive and robust Change Management procedure is in place, and all who are working on it are trained;

Verify the process to ascertain contractor competency;

Enhance resources to ensure appropriate supervision is provided for workscopes, inclusive of NUI installations. 


Contact Details: 
Step Change in Safety
Specific Equipment: 

Metering skid

Incident consequence: 
Hydrocarbon release
Production operations
Fixed Installation
Cause of accident or incident: 
Uncontrolled release of a flammable gas or liquid