Shell Resumes Production at Brent Bravo Platform

Shell has restarted gas production from its Brent Bravo platform in the North Sea, which had been taken offline on Sept. 11 following an accident that killed two men.

Simon Buerk, a spokesman for Shell in London, said the Brent Alpha platform will restart within 48 hours, though the Brent Charlie platform isn't expected to restart until early next year.

The fourth Brent platform, Delta, was only briefly taken offline and has been producing gas since Sept. 15.

The U.K. government's Health & Safety Executive cleared Shell to restart Brent Bravo last week, after prohibiting oil and gas production and the use of certain equipment on the platform for several weeks.

No prohibition notices were issued for the Alpha and Charlie platforms, but Shell took them offline immediately after the accident to conduct its own review.

Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie account for about 51,000 barrels of crude and 600 million standard cubic feet of gas a day.

Shell's Buerk said the company will release its investigation report on the fatal accident in the next week or two.

The two men died after being suffocated in a release of gas while working in a leg of the platform.

A spokesman for the Health & Safety Executive said its own investigation into the accident continues, but was unable to say when it will be finished.

Buerk said the company inspected the pipework on all the Brent platforms and that repair and maintenance work on the Charlie platform, scheduled for 2004 and 2005, has been brought forward and is expected to be finished early in 2004.