30 oil workers rescued from North Sea platform

The Brent Charlie oil platform. Picture: Flickr
The Brent Charlie oil platform. Picture: Flickr
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Nearly 30 oil workers had to be airlifted off a North Sea platform after a power failure, it emerged today.

Energy giant Shell confirmed that 29 “non-essential” personnel were taken off the Brent Charlie platform on Thursday evening following the power outage.

It is understood two helicopters were mobilised to take the workers off the rig, which is in the Brent field around 116 miles north east of Shetland.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Shell UK Limited can confirm that due to a main power generator outage during the morning of 26 November, we carried out a precautionary downman of 29 non-essential personnel from the Brent Charlie platform, located 116 miles north-east of Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland.

“Main power has now been restored to the platform through one generator and work continues to bring a secondary generator back in to service.”

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed yesterday that it had been made aware of a “in-house downmanning” of the Brent Charlie. 

The Brent field sits in a water depth of around 140 m (460 ft) and comprises four large platforms: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta.

The field has produced around 10 per cent of all UK North Sea oil and gas and generated more than 20 billion pounds of tax revenue for the UK since production began in 1976.