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Engineering and Construction
Pages 20 (5020 words)
The Piper Alpha Disaster BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE Introduction On 6 July, 1988 the North Sea Oil and Gas Platform Piper Alpha experienced a series of catastrophic disasters leading to complete destruction of this vital resource for the industry.
In the 1980s, the platform received an overhaul to allow for natural gas production, which changed some of the dynamics of its operational and technological systems. Piper Alpha was a fixed platform in the North Sea, consisting of four modules that were segregated by a series of firewalls. Two modules were isolated for gas and oil production, with one module for gas compression and a fourth containing platform wellheads. Later analysis indicated that these firewalls were inefficient for the multiple activities occurring on the platform. The remaining levels of Piper Alpha contained control rooms, helipad operations, and personnel areas (e.g. sleeping quarters and recreational centres). On board were a variety of life rescue boats to facilitate evacuation in the event of emergencies. The events leading to the disaster and occurring during the series of fires were attributed to operational deficiencies, management failures, and process/procedure dysfunction, making this a complex scenario of human and tangible factors. This report highlights the inter-connectivity of these failures as well as discussion of the sweeping safety and procedural changes that occurred in the industry post-disaster. The events leading to Piper Alpha destruction Piper Alpha maintained two different condensate pumps (Pumps A and B). A condensate pump is designed to remove excess condensate (water vapour) to facilitate compression and production functions. ...
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