One fatality confirmed following platform fire in Caspian Sea

Offshore staff

BAKU, Azerbaijan – Around 30 personnel are thought to be missing after a platform on the Guneshli field offshore Azerbaijan caught fire last Friday.

State oil company SOCAR said a severe storm had hampered rescue efforts, according to a Reuters report. One person was definitely confirmed as dead, while more than 30 others were safely evacuated.

The fire is said to have started after a storm damaged a subsea high-pressure gas pipeline, causing the platform’s partial collapse.

Oil production on 28 oil wells linked to the platform was then suspended and all offshore oil and gas pipelines to the Azeri mainland were blocked as a safety precaution.

The Reuters report added that President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree forming a special commission to deal with the accident and control the rescue operation, with a criminal case opened to investigate the incident.

SOCAR added that three workers were missing from another of its offshore oil platforms in the Caspian Sea after an unrelated accident during the storm.

SOCAR’s first vice-president Khoshbakht Yusifzade told the Trend news agency that the government had ruled out sabotage as the cause of the fire.

12/07/2015

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