Workers were exposed to alpha radiation at Thistle offshore field off UK

Thistle offshore fieldWorkers were exposed to alpha radiation on board of EnQuests’s Thistle offshore platform off Shetland, Scotland. The accident occurred in last December, but the news were not released until this weekend by the rigging supervisor of the rig Steve Innes in front of BBC Scotland. The rigging supervisor together with fellow Wood Group contractors, discovered that they had been exposed to alpha radiation and workers now faced cancer fears with ongoing blood tests. The UK petroleum exploration and production company EnQuest ensured that all the additional precautionary steps had been taken immediately after the accident occurred

The six employees were working on Thistle offshore platform on 125 nautical miles north east off Shetland, performing shutdown work with pipe equipment. On the half way they were informed about the problem, being exposed to radiation for hours.

“We had all been working on it without the proper PPE (personal protective equipment), because they had assumed it was clear”, said the rigging supervisor of the Thistle offshore platform Steve Innes. “At first we were all in shock. We have been exposed to radioactive material for hours at a time”, added he.

According to the company operator EnQuest, the levels of radiation may not cause the six employees long-term harm.

“EnQuest can confirm that, in December 2016, during planned shutdown activities on its Thistle platform, six personnel employed by Wood Group under a contract with EnQuest were removing a piece of pipework when they were exposed to low levels of NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material)”, said the spokesman of EnQuest. “The level of exposure was less than 1% of the level at which it is reportable to the Health and Safety Executive however EnQuest advised the HSE of the matter at the time”, added he.

Thistle and Deveron fields are located 125 miles (201km) north-east of Sumburgh in the Shetland Isles and 275 miles (442km) north-east of Aberdeen, UK, in Block 211/ 18. The distance between the two fields is about 3km. Enquest holds a 99% interest in the fields and BP holds 1% interest. Oil and gas at the two fields are found within Rannoch, Etive, Ness and Tarbert sands.