In the wake of three major helicopter companies halting flights amid safety concerns, oil companies operating in the North Sea are having to rely on ships to bring workers to and from offshore platforms.
The three companies, Bristow, Bond and CHC have decided to ground their 25 Super Puma EC225 helicopters. Super Pumas have been involved in a series of recent accidents, with the most recent meaning that 19 oil workers had to be rescued after their helicopter ditched in the North Sea 30 miles offshore Shetland.
Eurocopter, the company that builds the Super Puma has been focusing its investigation around cracks on a gearbox shaft found in several of the downed vehicles.
Talisman Energy is one company that has had to resort to using ships to transfer staff to and from offshore platforms. 87 rig workers had to be picked up by the Island Enforcer and switched with relief staff after a significant portion of the North Sea helicopter fleet was grounded.
Geoff Holmes, senior vice president for Talisman Energy UK, was quoted as saying, “Talisman established a team of senior personnel to proactively address the issues arising from the helicopter incident on Monday. The team worked tirelessly to source all alternatives to reduce the backlog of flights in a timely and, above all, safe manner. I am delighted that we have secured the Island Enforcer to assist.”
Edited from various sources by David Bizley