PIPER_ALPHA_(97-03) (1)

PIPER_ALPHA_(97-03) (1) - PIPER ALPHA OIL RIG EXPLOSION...

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Unformatted text preview: PIPER ALPHA OIL RIG EXPLOSION Figure 1: Series of photos depicting the explosion of the Alpha Piper oil rig. Introduction A series of explosions and fires on July 6, 1986 completely destroyed the Piper Alpha oil and gas production platform. During the aftermath of the explosion, 167 workers on the Piper Alpha were killed, including 2 rescuers in a small craft. There were 62 survivors who managed to escape in time by diving into the icy cold North Sea 200 ft below. The fire was visible from 85 miles, felt at 1 mile and almost the entire platform was melted off or down to sea level. The total uninsured losses were about US$ 3.4 billion. A billion dollar platform was lost, along with approximately 11% of the United Kingdoms oil and gas production that the Piper Alpha accounted for. The Piper Alpha was a North Sea oil production platform that was part of an oil production field and located about 120 miles north-east of Aberdeen, Scotland. The production field was discovered in 1973 by American owned Occidental Petroleumthe fourth largest US gas/oil companyand the design of the platform commenced during that same year. At the time of its development and installation, the Piper Alpha platform represented a major step in both the development of the UK offshore resources and technology because the sea water depth was 140 m. The basic design of the topsides was based on those used in the Gulf of Mexico and production of oil started in December 1976 when the first two wells were brought on-stream. The Piper Alpha platform was constructed and it became operational in 1976, producing 250,000 barrels per day. The platforms produced crude oil only until 1980 when natural gas conversion equipment was also installed. All in all, it produced crude oil and natural gas from twenty four wells. Oil was pumped from the platform via a sub-sea pipeline and the Alphas pipeline was connected to the Tartan platform, the Claymore platform, the MCP-01 platform, and to a gas processing plant called MCP-01. It was also connected to the oil processing plant the Orkney Isles Flotta and oil was pumped from the platform via a sub-sea pipeline. Close by, the Claymore field had also been discovered approximately a year after the Piper field and the Claymore platform, which was of a similar design to that of Piper, came on-stream in November 1977. The oil produced from the Claymore field was exported to Flotta through the same sub-sea pipeline. To the northwest of the Piper Alpha platform ran the gas export lines from the Frigg field to the onshore gas terminal at St Fergus. It was also connected to the oil processing plant, the Orkney Isles Flotta. There were three different major explosions during the time of the incident. Gas condensate leaked from two blind flanges covering a pipe and at 2200 hours, the gas ignited and exploded causing fires and damage to other areas with the further release of gas and oil....
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This note was uploaded on 09/22/2009 for the course PHIL 315 taught by Professor Lippincott during the Spring '08 term at Drexel.

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PIPER_ALPHA_(97-03) (1) - PIPER ALPHA OIL RIG EXPLOSION...

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