Marathon Oil Shuts Brae Alpha North Sea Platform

LONDON, Nov 21, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Marathon Oil (MRO) shut its North Sea Brae Alpha oil platform late Monday after a gas alert, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

None of the 171 staff on board were evacuated from the platform, which is located 155 miles northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland.

The spokeswoman said the alert occurred at 1910 GMT Monday.

While the company couldn't provide exact production figures for the Brae Alpha platform, its 2006 fact book says the total output of its three Brae oil platforms is 13 million barrels a day of oil and 177 million cubic feet a day of gas.

An investigation is being carried out to ascertain the cause of the gas alert, the spokeswoman said.

"The Coastguard was called by the platform, which is 155 miles north east of Aberdeen, at 7.20pm (1920 GMT) to report that following gas detection from two separate modules," the U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency said in a statement late Monday.

David Robertson, Aberdeen Coastguard Watch Manager said, "We have been liaising with Marathon Oil throughout this evening to ensure that all safeguards have been taken to ensure the safety of all crew onboard the platform.

"It has now been confirmed that all gas detectors register normal and all helicopters have therefore been stood down," he added.

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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