Shell Evacuates North Sea Workers After Power Outage

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Aug 07, 2007 (Dow Jones Commodities News)

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) has evacuated workers from its North Sea Brent Bravo platform after the facility suffered a power outage Friday.

Workers were taken off the platform Sunday after a power generator left an accommodation module without lighting, ventilation and water.

But oil and gas production at the facility is believed to be unaffected, with the platform currently undergoing annual maintenance.

"One of the power generators providing all the support systems to the accommodation module went," said Jake Molloy, general secretary of the offshore oil workers' union OILC.

He said that all 62 workers were flown from Brent Bravo to the North Cormorant and Tern platforms Sunday, but couldn't confirm whether they had now returned to Brent Bravo.

However, a Shell spokeswoman later confirmed that 61 workers had been taken off the platform, but 91 remain on board. The loss of power Friday had only affected one accommodation module, she said, and despite a repair to the generator, a subsequent, separate generator problem Saturday prompted Shell to remove the affected crew members Sunday morning, she said.

Evacuated workers will remain on the neighboring platforms until power generation is fully restored.

Work at the platform - involving the installation of a new compressor - would continue, the spokeswoman said, and no extension to the platform's shutdown period was expected.

Shell was criticized for failings at Brent Bravo following the death of two workers on the platform in September 2003. The company was later fined GBP900,000 after admitting health and safety breaches.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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