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TAQA shuts down UK Harding oil platform after worker dies

Source: Reuters - Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:06 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Adds news on platform shutdown, spokesman quotes)

LONDON/DUBAI, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi-based TAQA is shutting down its 12,000 barrels-per-day Harding oil platform in the UK North Sea after a man fell to his death on Thursday, the company said.

"Production is being shut down," a spokesman for the Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) said, adding that the number of staff present on the platform was being reduced to 35 from 108.

In response to a question about when production will resume he said: "This is not currently our concern, our number one priority is safety."

A 62-year old man died early on Thursday after falling from the Harding platform, 300 km northeast of Aberdeen, during maintenance work.

He fell overboard at around 0217 GMT and was rescued and airlifted to hospital where he later died, TAQA said.

All other 108 people on board the platform are safe, the company added.

Scottish police said they were treating the incident as a work-related death and were carrying out a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive into the circumstances of the incident.

"TAQA is liaising with Police Scotland and other relevant authorities to investigate fully the incident," the platform owner said.

TAQA owns a 70 percent stake in the Harding platform, whilst Maersk holds 30 percent.

Crude oil retrieved via the platform is transported from a submerged loading facility, unlike some other platforms which are directly connected to the mainland via pipeline.

The platform started operating in 1996 and has a daily production rate of 12,000 barrels of oil equivalent. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps in London and Daniel Fineren in Dubai)

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