27-Aug-2013 Source: Oil & Gas UK
Oil & Gas UK held a meeting in Aberdeen today (Monday 26 August) to discuss the operational impact of the temporary suspension of Super Puma helicopters following the crash of an L2 model on Friday with the tragic loss of four lives and injury to others.
There were 80 representatives of oil and gas operators and major contractors present. The meeting opened with a period of silent reflection and an expression of profound sadness over the tragic events of the weekend. The attendees discussed how the temporary suspension could affect operations across the UK continental shelf in the short and longer term, and what collaborative actions might be taken to minimise this and the operational impact on the offshore workforce.
Oil & Gas UK chief executive, Malcolm Webb, said: “The industry met in sombre mood today to set in train appropriate actions to address the operational consequences of the current situation. The Super Puma helicopter fleet represents over 50% of the capacity in the North Sea. The immediate knock-on effects of this are delays and flight backlogs with considerable inconvenience to the workforce and their families, and potential adverse effects on offshore activities.
“Our primary concern is assuring the safety of the workforce. The Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG), which met on Saturday, recommended that flights of each of the various models of Super Puma helicopter should only resume when sufficient factual information to support this decision becomes available. Today’s meeting endorsed that position.”
“Individual operators have contingency plans in place for when flights are suspended due to bad weather for example, but preparing for a wider or potentially longer-term issue will require industry-wide collaboration. Oil & Gas UK will therefore work with its members and the regulators to ease the adverse impacts of this loss of capacity.”
Further meetings of this group and other associated task groups will take place over the coming days and weeks.
Super Puma helicopters will continue to fly in search and rescue operations.