This research explains about The Disaster of Piper Alpha which occurred in the North Sea on 6 July 1988 which killed 167 people and cost billions dollars in property damage. This research report also examines about the objectives and the structures of the management of the Piper Alpha Oil Platform. This research is analyzed from both technical and organizational view. Besides that, this research report also discuss about the industrial processes and the operations of the platform. Moreover, the risk factors in all area which lead to the accident also have been explained in this research report. The organizational factor includes the flaw in the guidelines and design practices. Besides that the organizational factors includes the management of the trade-off of productivity and safety. Moreover, it also includes the management of the staffs on board. The financial pressure applied in the production sector which leads to the negligence of inspections and maintenance operations. The consequences of the effects of the disaster of Piper Alpha are also discussed in this research report. For example, this report discusses about the effects to the investors of Piper Alpha and the effects to the environment. This research report is also used to provide systematic way of identifying, the accident sequence which includes human errors and technical failure. Finally, this research report also explains the improvement strategies in the management systems to prevent the accident from occurring. 1. Introduction
Piper Alpha platform was North Sea oil production platform which was operated by Occidental Petroleum (Caledonia) Ltd. The platform started its production in the year 1976. It first operates as an oil platform and then it was develop to gas production plant. A large fixed, Piper Alpha was situated on the Piper oilfield, approximately 120 miles northeast of Aberdeen and comprised four modules separated by firewalls. For safety reasons the modules were organized so that the most dangerous operations were distant from the staff areas. The conversion from oil to gas in 1980 broke this safety concept, with the result that sensitive areas were brought together. For example, the gas compression area is next to the control room, which played a role in the blast. Piper Alpha was one of the heaviest platforms operating in the North Sea at the time of the disaster in 1988. The Disaster of Piper Alpha occurred on 6th July 1988 caused by a gas leak and pumps failure which killed 167 people including two people from the rescue vessel and lost around 3.4 billion US dollars. There were only 61 people survived from the accident. Besides that, more than 30 people couldn’t be discovered after the accident (Steve Duff,2006). This report briefly explains about the technical and organizational factors which leads the Disaster of Piper Alpha. Besides that, it also discuss about consequences of the effect of the accident. Finally, it also discuss about the improvement and prevention step to avoid this type of accident to happen in future.
2. Management and Operation
2.1 The management and its structure
Four companies that later which have transformed into the OPCAL joint venture obtained an oil exploration license in 1972 and discovered the Piper Oilfield. The Piper Alpha was started on 1973 and its start operating on the year 1976. This oil platform and Flotta Oil platform was operated by Occidental Petroleum (Caledonia) Ltd. Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OPCAL) is California based oil and gas exploration and production company. Occidental Petroleum Corporation is the largest oil and the natural gas producer in Texas (Lord Caplan,1997). The management structure of Piper Alpha Platform
Figure 1: Management Structure of Piper Alpha Platform
(Lord Caplan, 1997)
The figure above shows the management structure of Piper Alpha platform. According to the organization structure, the highest post was held by the managing director of the...