The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Safety investigators looking into fire that closes down Deep Panuke gas well

  • Print

HALIFAX - An electrical fire on the Deep Panuke natural gas platform off Nova Scotia is being investigated by the regulator for the offshore oil and gas industry.

The platform has stopped operations while Encana (TSX:ECA) and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board investigate the cause of the fire.

Board spokeswoman Kathleen Funke said a transformer caught fire on Sunday evening and a sprinkler system extinguished the blaze.

The platform operated by Dutch-based SBM Offshore had an electrical fire on Jan. 19, 2013, that also resulted in a temporary shutdown of its operations.

Safety reports obtained by The Canadian Press said a failure to conduct annual maintenance inspections was the underlying reason behind that fire.

The report was one of three that flagged electrical problems aboard Deep Panuke, located about 250 kilometres southeast of Halifax.

Funke said it is too early to determine whether there is any link between the fires and the earlier electrical problems.

A spokesman for Encana also said it is too early to comment on whether the latest fire was similar to the previous incident.

Jay Averill said no one was injured in the fire, there was no risk to the environment and no personnel were evacuated.

He said in an email the company is doing its own investigation to determine the exact cause of the fire.

"All system checks have been completed and, in consultation with the regulator, we have begun the start-up process to get Deep Panuke back on line," he wrote.

Funke said the decision on when to bring the platform back into operation rests with Encana.

"However, the board can supersede this decision if our chief safety officer and CEO do not believe it is safe to operate. The board does not permit unsafe operations at any time," she added in an email.

SBM couldn't be reached for comment.

The investigation into the 2013 fire concluded that annual testing of electrical equipment using heat-detection equipment was needed.

Last year, a spokeswoman for Encana said the company had worked closely with SBM to "drive home the importance of prevention first."

Other reports obtained under access to information say there were underlying quality assurance problems and in some instances installation problems with electrical equipment aboard Deep Panuke prior to the fire.

Follow on twitter @mtuttoncporg

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Reimagining Winnipeg as the big city of the future

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A one day old piglet glances up from his morning feeding at Cedar Lane Farm near Altona.    Standup photo Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press
  • A black swallowtail butterfly land on Lantana flowers Sunday morning at the Assiniboine Park English Gardens- standup photo – August 14, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Canada's involvement in the fight against Islamic State?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google