North Sea oil platform evacuated following power cut

A North Sea oil rig had to be evacuated over the weekend after being struck by a power cut.

A total of 144 workers were stationed on the West of Shetland Clair Platform in the early hours of Saturday morning when the lights went out.

The majority were rushed off the station before 6am and operators worked to resolve the issue and the production was shut down.

A BP spokesman confirmed 105 personnel had been take off the site.

He said: “Following a power outage on the Clair platform West of Shetland, BP can confirm that – as a precautionary measure – we are initiating the down manning of 105 non-essential personal.

“The Clair platform lost power at approximately 5.45am today. The platform was not producing at the time. We are working to resolve the issue.”

The spokesman said that accommodation in Shetland was being made available to the down-manned crew.

Last night staff were being returned to the platform.

The spokesman added: “BP can confirm that power is being restored to the Clair platform following an outage yesterday morning and personnel are beginning to be returned to the platform.”

The Clair Field is the UK’s largest oilfield on the UK continental shelf and has an estimated eight billion barrels of oil in place.

The platform was established in 1977 and first began producing in 2005.

However the incident this weekend is not the first time production has been shut down at the site which is located 75km to the west of Shetland.

Last October an oil leak took place causing BP to carry out 30 surveillance flights.

On that occasion an estimated 95 tonnes of oil was released into the water from the platform.