Total ruled out gas leak hours before incident-union

LONDON, (Reuters) – Workers on French energy company Total’s North Sea Elgin platform repeatedly raised safety concerns about rising gas pressure but were told a leak “could not happen” only hours before one took place, a trade union leader said today.
“The workforce had raised their concerns to the Offshore Installation Manager who in turn consulted with onshore technical authorities at Total…they were repeatedly told that a failure in Annulus C (the pipe casing) could not happen…and even if it did, a design feature would prevent a gas leak,” Jake Molloy said.
“Several discussions between workers and Total technical authorities happened throughout the preceding weeks, up to and including a few hours before the event,” said Molloy, the head of the RMT union’s section that represents offshore oil and gas workers, referring to the leak that led to a total evacuation of the rig.
A spokeswoman at Total in Aberdeen said she could not immediately comment on the matter.

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