The Transocean Winner at the start of its refloat operation

 

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The Transocean Winner at the start of its refloat operation.

Written by – 24/08/2016 5:59 am

A 17,000-tonne oil rig which ran aground in the Outer Hebrides which was successfully refloated is expected to arrive at a temporary location this morning.

The Transocean Winner drilling rig ran aground on Lewis two weeks ago was refloated at high tide in Dalmore Bay, near Carloway at around 10pm on Monday.

Two tug boats have been taking the rig on a 54-mile journey to Broad Bay at the other side of the island where experts will assess the damage.

The journey has taken longer than initially estimated with a travelling speed of 1-1.5 knots per hour.

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency has been conducting counter pollution flyover checks in the area to examine the water for any sign of discharge, sheen or pollution from the rig.

There was no pollution reported in the Dalmore Bay area, but a slight sheen was detected as the aircraft continued to follow the path of the rig.

The sheen is said to be associated with the ongoing pressurisation of tanks to maintain the rig’s stability, but a Brigg’s Marine and Environmental Services team is accompanying the tow and assisting by “breaking up the light sheen”.

A temporary exclusion zone remains in place at Dalmore Bay until the seabed has been checked for any debris or environmental impact.

Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s representative for maritime salvage and intervention, said: “We are taking advantage of the favourable weather conditions following this big step forward, and we will continue to closely monitor the rig whilst it is under tow.

“Once everything is declared safe, I will be looking at releasing the exclusion zone in Dalmore Bay.

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the Western Isles Council and community for their patience and their gracious hospitality during this challenging and disruptive period.

“This salvage operation has required the united cooperation from so many different organisations who have spared no effort to ensure that this rig reaches safer waters.”

Eight anchors are being laid out in Broad Bay to hold the rig in place when it arrives.

Transocean will then begin the assessment process – which includes putting divers in the water – to look at the damage the rig has suffered; a process which could take until the middle of September.

The semi-submersible structure was blown ashore at Dalmore during a towing operation on Monday August 8. The towline between the rig and its tug was lost en route from Norway to Malta amid high winds and heavy seas in the early hours that day.

The rig grounded with 280 tonnes of diesel on board and two of its four fuel tanks were damaged in the incident.

It resulted in the loss of 53,000 litres of fuel, most of which is thought to have evaporated with no damage to the environment.

The remaining 200 tonnes of hydrocarbons, mainly diesel oil with small amounts of base oil and brine, were transferred from the rig to the supply vessel Olympic Orion at the weekend.

A 300m exclusion zone around the rig will remain in place while the salvage work continues.

There will also be a 1km exclusion zone while it is towed from Dalmore Bay to Broad Bay, on the east coast of Lewis, some 54 miles (87km) away.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is carrying out a probe into the grounding of the rig and will issue its findings at a later date.

 

 

Oil rig rescue highlights need to reinstate rescue vessels

 

 

 

 

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Oil rig rescue highlights need to reinstate rescue vessels

The grounding of a 17,000-tonne oil drilling rig carrying 280 tonnes of diesel last week highlights the need to reinstate axed Emergency Towing Vessels (ETV), the union Nautilus has said. The union was speaking after the Orkney-based Herakles – Britain’s only remaining ETV, operated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) – was deployed to assist the Transocean Winner rig which ran aground on the Western Isles of Scotland on 10 August after breaking from its tug in heavy seas. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has begun an inquiry into what happened as the semi-submersible platform was being towed from Norway to Malta. It is understood that from Malta, the rig was to be taken to a yard in Turkey to be scrapped. Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said: “The incident highlights the vital work that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) do in protecting life at sea. If the ETV had not been available then lives would have been at risk and the chances of environmental damage would have been greatly increased” (Risks 761). The union leader added: “The government only agreed to retain the use of Herakles in Orkney last month and this highlights how important that decision was. I hope the government looks closely at this incident and reconsiders the risk for other coastal areas of the UK not served by government-funded ETVs.” The union has run a lengthy campaign against the axing of the crucial safety vessels (Risks 587). The four ETVs were introduced after the Braer and Sea Empress tanker disasters, but three were withdrawn following the 2010 public spending review.

Ÿ  Nautilus news release. BBC News Online. The Herald. The Guardian.Nautilus_International_logo

 

Wood Group Dispute update 18 August 2016

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Unite Scotland Press Release
 Thursday 18 August

New announcement on Wood Group dispute

The following announcement has been issued jointly by Wood Group and the Unite and RMT Trade Unions in relation to the current dispute involving workers on the Shell facilities in the North Sea.

“Wood Group and the Unite and RMT unions have held two full days of constructive discussions which will continue next week.

“These talks, which are allowing all parties to bring ideas to the table, involved union officials, offshore shop stewards and Wood Group management. These collaborative discussions have demonstrated a clear, shared understanding of the issues being raised by all parties, plus the challenges facing the North Sea.

“We remain focused on reaching a mutually acceptable outcome, which demonstrates collective leadership in shaping the future of the North Sea.” 

During this period, and to facilitate open and honest discussions, neither Wood Group nor the unions will make any further public statements in relation to this matter.


ENDS

For further information contact Unite Scotland media officer David Eyre on 07960 451631. Email david.eyre@unitetheunion.org

Notes to editors:

Twitter: @UniteScotland

Facebook: UniteScotland

Web: http://www.unitetheunion.org/scotland

Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.

Unite Offshore Twitter : @uniteoffshore

Unite Offshore  Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/uniteoffshore2015/

 

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Transocean’s Grounded Drilling Rig Now Leaking Fuel

Transocean’s Grounded Drilling Rig Now Leaking Fuel

Post > Transocean’s Grounded Drilling Rig Now Leaking Fuel

Transocean’s Grounded Drilling Rig Now Leaking Fuel

Published at 07:08PM – 10/08/16

Damaged fuel tanks on the Transocean drilling rig Transocean Winner, grounded in the Isle of Lewis, are reportedly leaking diesel, according to the BBC.

The Transocean Winner rig was carrying 280 tonnes of oil, the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said in a statement.

“During the inspection, the salvors discovered that two of the fuel tanks appear to have been breached, however it is unclear at this time how much oil from those tanks has been released to the environment,” the MCA statement reads.

Transocean’s Grounded Drilling Rig Now Leaking Fuel

“A damage assessment team from Smit Salvage and Transocean has been on board the oil rig grounded off the Isle of Lewis to carry out a series of initial inspections,” the MCA added.

According to the statement, the team spent three and a half hours checking the condition of the rig’s structural integrity.

Fuel Leaking from Grounded Drilling Rig
Transocean Winner Drilling Rig Aground in the Isle of Lewis (Image: Kenny John Macleod)

The rig is still in its original position, at Dalmore beach, in the Isle of Lewis, and weather conditions have made it impossible for the team to continue with the assessment today, the MCA explained.

“Additional salvors and technical experts from Transocean and also equipment continues to arrive to the incident area to support the operation,” it added.

Salvage Operations Risked by Continued Bad Weather

According to the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, Hugh Shaw, there was no evidence of oil around the facility or on the beach.

However, monitoring continues from the shore and from the air and counter pollution measures are ready and available in case oil is detected.

Still, it remains unclear how much fuel may have been released.

In the meantime, bad weather has prevented the inspection team from returning to the rig and a temporary exclusion zone remains in force.

The rig, which ran aground on Monday, was being towed from Norway to Malta. Due to bad weather, the tow line may have broken early on Monday.

Shaw told BBC Radio Scotland this won’t be a “speedy” operation as the weather conditions worsen and the rig could move further and cause more damage.

“We’re not going to risk anyone or any craft going in below the rig until we know it’s safe to do so,” he explained.

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Transocean Winner Drilling Rig Aground in the Isle of Lewis (Video: Kenny John Macleod)

 

 

 

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Statement on Wood Group dispute

 

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Statement on Wood Group dispute

12 August 2016
The following announcement has been issued jointly by Wood Group and the Unite and RMT Trade Unions in relation to the current dispute involving workers on the Shell facilities in the North Sea.
“Wood Group and the Unite and RMT unions can confirm we have agreed to restart the process for resolution of the current dispute. We will hold a number of full-day meetings over the next few weeks, starting early next week, to take a fresh look at the issues. All parties recognise that the challenges we are facing in the North Sea are both real and serious and there is acceptance that change is required and will happen.
“These fresh talks will allow all parties to bring ideas to the table and provide opportunities for employees in particular, along with unions and management, to contribute to a mutually successful outcome and demonstrate leadership in shaping the future of the North Sea. We believe that this collaborative approach to addressing the challenging and well-publicised situation in the oil & gas sector is the best way for us to resolve this current dispute and contribute to creating a sustainable model for the North Sea.
“For these talks to be successful, it is essential to create a constructive environment in which they can take place. Wood Group has therefore agreed to stop the implementation of the current proposal for the duration of this fresh engagement and talks, and in response to this RMT and Unite have agreed to suspend any further strike action for the duration of this fresh engagement and talks.
“During this period, and to facilitate open and honest discussions, neither Wood Group nor the unions will make any public statements in relation to this matter.”
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Brent Oil field, North Sea, UK
ENDS
For further information contact Unite Scotland Media & Communications Officer David Eyre on 07960 451631. Email: david.eyre@unitetheunion.org
Notes to editors:
Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy.  The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.

– See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/how-we-help/listofregions/scotland/latestnews/statement-on-wood-group-dispute/#sthash.0D8vcN0w.dpuf

 

Get protected at work

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Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Check out 10 good reasons why you should join Unite.

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

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Joint Statement by Unite the Union, RMT Union and the Wood Group in relation to the current dispute involving workers on the Shell facilities in the North Sea.

 

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The following announcement has been issued jointly by  Unite the Union , RMT Trade Union and the Wood Group  in relation to the current dispute involving workers on the Shell facilities in the North Sea.

Wood Group and the Unite and RMT unions can confirm we have agreed to restart the process for resolution of the current dispute. We will hold a number of full-day meetings over the next few weeks, starting early next week, to take a fresh look at the issues. All parties recognise that the challenges we are facing in the North Sea are both real and serious and there is acceptance that change is required and will happen.

These fresh talks will allow all parties to bring ideas to the table and provide opportunities for employees in particular, along with unions and management, to contribute to a mutually successful outcome and demonstrate leadership in shaping the future of the North Sea. We believe that this collaborative approach to addressing the challenging and well-publicised situation in the oil & gas sector is the best way for us to resolve this current dispute and contribute to creating a sustainable model for the North Sea.

For these talks to be successful, it is essential to create a constructive environment in which they can take place.  Wood Group has therefore agreed to stop the implementation of the current proposal for the duration of this fresh engagement and talks, and in response to this RMT and Unite have agreed to suspend any further strike action for the duration of this fresh engagement and talks.

During this period, and to facilitate open and honest discussions, neither Wood Group nor the unions will make any public statements in relation to this matter.

 

 

Get protected at work

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Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Check out 10 good reasons why you should join Unite.

Have a voice, take action and make change happen.

Join the union today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

 

Labour shadow Scottish secretary meets offshore shop stewards and OCG officials

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Labour shadow Scottish secretary meets offshore shop stewards and OCG officials

11 August 2016

Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary is to meet with shop stewards from the oil and gas industry, in the middle of the biggest North Sea dispute for a generation.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson will visit Aberdeen today (Thursday 11 August) as part of the focus on understanding and responding to the challenges facing the North Sea oil and gas industry.

During his visit he will speak with Unite shop stewards who represent members working for offshore contractors, including Wood Group, where workers recently took part in the first North Sea strike action for 28 years in protest at planned cuts of up to 30 per cent in their pay and allowances. Further strikes dates were announced this week.

Dave Anderson will also meet union officials from the Offshore Coordinating Group (OCG) and with Labour members of Aberdeen city council who support the OCG’s call for a national UK summit to address the challenges facing the oil and gas industry.

Dave Anderson said: “Labour is focused on working with unions and employers to ensure that we can maximise the economic opportunities from the North Sea. I am coming to Aberdeen to listen and to help.

“However one thing is certain – if the industry is to thrive, we need companies to co-operate with their workers and treat them fairly.  I am very pleased to be able to meet trade unionists standing up for their rights. In the North Sea and right across the country, we need an economy that works for the many and not just the few.”

Unite’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “We were very pleased when Dave Anderson accepted the invitation to meet our shop stewards. Taking strike action is always a last resort for trade union members, and the support and solidarity that workers receive from the labour movement is extremely important.

“Last year, Wood Group made a profit of $320 million before tax, and their former chief executive was paid £1.15 million. But the company has been making that money on the backs of their workers – with redundancies, pay cuts, and attacks on working conditions.

“We urge Wood Group to get back around the table with Unite and other trade unions, so that we can come to a fair and sustainable settlement to this dispute.”

As part of the dispute, Unite organised a 24-hour stoppage on Tuesday 26 July, followed by a series of three-hour stoppages, and then a 48-hour stoppage from Thursday 4 August. Further strike action is planned from 15 August, with a series of 24-hour and six-hour stoppages.

The strikes will affect platforms owned by multi-national oil company Shell, including Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo, Brent Charlie, Curlew, Gannet, Nelson and Shearwater.

During the dispute the striking workers have received declarations of support from trade unionists across the globe, including those working in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. There have also been demonstrations at Wood Group’s Aberdeen headquarters.

 

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ENDS

Dave Anderson will meet Unite offshore representatives at 14.30 on Thursday 11 August, at Unite the union’s offices, 42-44 King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5TJ.

For further information, for interview, or to arrange a photo / filming opportunity, contact Unite Scotland media officer David Eyre on 07960 451631.

 

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Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Check out 10 good reasons why you should join Unite.

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

Notes to editors:

  • The Offshore Coordinating Group of offshore unions (UNITE, RMT, GMB, Nautilus International and BALPA) was launched in February 2016.
  • Details of Wood Group’s profits and remuneration of senior managers are contained in the company’s annual report.
  • Unite and the RMT trade unions have announced that members working for Wood Group on Shell’s Curlew platform will take part in 24-hour stoppages on 15, 22 and 29 August 2016.
  • Members on Brent Alpha and Brent Bravo will take part in 24-hour stoppages 16, 23 and 30 August 2016.
  • Members on the Nelson, Gannet and Shearwater platforms will take part in 24-hour stoppages 17, 24 and 31 August 2016.
  • Members on the Brent Charlie platform will take 6 hour stoppages commencing at 06:30 hours and 18:30 hours on 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30 August 2016 and 3 September 2016.

– See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/how-we-help/listofregions/scotland/latestnews/labour-shadow-scottish-secretary-meets-offshore-shop-stewards/#sthash.hUSyS0vR.dpuf

 

 

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