Oil & Gas offshore sector Unions (OCG) slam North Sea decommissioning disaster

ocg

 

October 2016

 The OCG slam North Sea decommissioning disaster

Commenting after the North Sea Producer, a huge oil and gas production vessel was revealed to be rusting on a beach in Bangladesh, Tommy Campbell, Chair of the Offshore Coordinating Group (OCG) said:

“It is completely unacceptable for any North Sea vessel or rig to be decommissioned in this way. The process by which this vessel came to rust on a beach in Bangladesh highlights everything that is wrong with the UK’s current approach to decommissioning; an approach that runs contrary to the twin aims of maximising economic recovery and limiting environmental damage that are supposedly shared by Government at all levels.

“It is essential that Government and regulators work with unions and the industry to quickly develop and implement a new and effective strategy for North Sea decommissioning. If the cost-minimisation approach becomes embedded, good jobs will be lost to the UK economy. Workers and the environment in developing nations will be cruelly exploited.

“Having extracted massive profits from the North Sea, operators cannot be allowed to duck the responsibility to decommission in an ethical manner”.

ENDS

Notes

1 North Sea Producer found languishing on Bangladesh Beach, Energy Voice, 19 October 2016 https://www.energyvoice.com/other-news/122106/vessel-docked-riverside-stadium-now-washed-beaches-bangladesh/

2 The OCG was recently established to coordinate trade union policy and campaigns in the oil and gas sector. The following unions are members of the OCG: Unite, RMT, GMB, BALPA and Nautilus International.

Contacts

Tommy Campbell, Unite and Chair OCG 07810157920

Jake Molloy, RMT and Vice Chair OCG 07711 359 705


 

 

The Offshore Coordinating Group of offshore unions (UNITE, RMT, GMB, Nautilus International and BALPA) was launched in February 2016.

The aims and objectives of the Group are to:

• co-ordinate the recruitment and organisation of all employees in the offshore oil and gas industries and thereafter to seek recognition on their behalf.

• campaign to improve both the quality and security of employment in the offshore sector and the health, safety and wellbeing of all offshore workers.

• organise and pursue effective campaigns on issues identified by the Group in the interests of the offshore workforce.

• organise and articulate the collective trade union voice in strategic discussions with Government at all levels, regulators and employer organisations.


join unite 2

Unite is the largest trade union 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/

 

 

 

 

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Meet the Charity Training Future North Sea Pilots

Meet the Charity Training Future North Sea Pilots

Published in Oil Industry News on Friday, 28 October 2016

Graphic for News Item: Meet the Charity Training Future North Sea Pilots

Wings 4 Warriors is a local Aberdeen based charity that takes soldiers who have sustained life changing injuries (such as the loss of a limb) and helps fund their retraining through the long and expensive process of becoming a Commercial Helicopter Pilot.

Oil and Gas People recently visited Wings 4 Warriors Operation in Aberdeen and met 32-year-old Mark Radcliffe who founded the charity, and amputee ex-soldier Chris Kirk who was trained by the organisation. To say what Mark and his team has put in place is fantastic really doesn’t give their achievements merit as the charity has managed to completely fund every successful applicant through their pilot training and has enlisted a team of sponsors and volunteers to reduce the training costs from an eye-watering £75,000 down to a sustainable £15,000. This is almost certainly the cheapest anywhere in the world!

Mark originally provided the first training aircraft himself, but since then he has managed to gain invaluable sponsorship from helicopter operator CHC who provide a range of services to assist the charity. Immediately CHC purchased a training helicopter for the charity, provided brand new classroom facilities in their Dyce base and allowed CHC engineers Matt Thomson and Pride of Aberdeen Armed Services Nominee Hugh Sutherland to service the aircraft on a voluntary basis in their spare time. They also provided access to their wealth of experienced pilots, many of whom had been instructors and examiners before joining the company and were more than happy to give their free time to such a worthy cause.

Thanks to the generosity of CHC, Matt, Hugh and a close knit team of volunteer instructors the charity is now able to run the helicopter at the cost of only insurance and fuel.

Mark’s inspiration for the charity came when his father whom he comically described as a “big squishy businessman” sat beside an injured serviceman by the name of ‘Billy’ on a flight returning to the UK. Mark’s father listened to Billy’s story about how he had sustained several gunshot wounds during a tour overseas and how the injuries sustained required the transfusion of an astounding 87 pints of blood and culminated in the amputation of Billy’s leg – an injury that left him medically unfit to continue service.

Mark’s father heard as the amputee serviceman explained how his life’s dream was always to be a helicopter pilot and saw how the man’s future appeared masked in uncertainty and doubt. In a spur of the moment act of kindness Mark’s father offered to personally pay for the stranger to undertake a trial lesson and enable him to fulfil his life dream, even just for a day.

After flying with Billy and spotting his potential, Mark decided to set up a charity so that Billy’s dream could continue into a sustainable and rewarding new life. So Wings4Warriors was established in 2012. Since then Mark and his team has grown the charity to a point where they can fully train four injured soldiers every year to become professional aviators and hopefully go on to rewarding and fulfilling new futures.

It’s easy as a country that hasn’t seen a bomb dropped on its soil since 1944 to take our troops for granted and as Britons, we are lucky enough to have entire generations of people who can say that the closest encounter they have had to an armed conflict is from playing call of duty or watching a Ross Kemp documentary. This luxury however is not free and is provided by the bravery of the men and women of our armed forces. Every injured soldier who is unable to continue their service should have these opportunities open to them and we believe Wings 4 Warriors is one such charity providing an excellent service to reward our nations heroes.

Chris Kirk is one such hero – a man who was deployed in 2010 on the frontlines of Helmand province in Afghanistan at the age of just 19. His job was to sweep the terrain for Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s), a role he undertook for the whole 6-month deployment. One day however Chris’s life was changed forever when after a deafening explosion it quickly became apparent – he had stepped on an IED.

Chris’s comrades began working tirelessly to keep him alive long enough for a Chinook helicopter to arrive and provide medical extraction. Despite their professionalism and the outstanding medical care provided on board the aircraft, Chris had lost the bottom half of his left leg and would require amputation.

He recalls arriving home after being medically discharged, receiving treatment at Headley Court and the fitting of his first prosthetic. He also recalls the feeling as he went home unemployed and unsure of the future. It quickly became apparent that his future was shrouded in uncertainty after he realised that jobs most suitable for someone with an amputated limb were not entirely suitable for someone who had become adjusted to the high intensity atmosphere of a war zone.

As a child Chris fondly remembered reading the book Chickenhawk by Robert Mason – the story of a heroic helicopter pilot in the Vietnam war – Chris decided to investigate out of curiosity whether amputees could be pilots and upon searching Google for exactly that, came across Marks charity – Wings 4 Warriors. It seemed too good to be true, but Chris applied anyway. After a rigorous screening process Chris was accepted and funded through the charity and is now a fully qualified commercial pilot. In fact, thanks to public support for the charity Chris has now gone on to become a full-time flight instructor for the organisation.

When asked what Wings 4 Warriors did for Chris personally, a change in tone was immediate, Chris replied: “I can say what it does for injured soldiers in general – It gives them a second chance in life. I became Chris the injured soldier at 19 because that’s what happens to you and that’s all you are. Being a soldier isn’t just a job it’s a way of life – you ARE a soldier. After my injuries though, when people asked what I did, I had to say I was an injured soldier in a rehab unit.”

“Now I can say I’m a helicopter pilot, it just gives me a second chance in life that helped me recover. Wings 4 Warriors helped me progress to a better future and helped me put my injury behind me and look forward to the future. It’s great to have this amazing career instead of the alternatives”

Mark now aims to expand the service to include a fixed wing license in response to an industry prediction of 500,000 new fixed wing jobs over the coming 30 years. Wings 4 Warriors hopes to extend their service to allow 8 injured servicemen and women to train as professional pilots every year and Oil and Gas People would like to extend their support.

Vote for volunteer engineer Hugh Sutherland who has been nominated for his services to Wings 4 Warriors for the Pride of Aberdeen Awards

Donate personally by visiting the Wings4warriors Justgiving page

Donate personally by texting WNGS43 followed by a £ sign and your donation amount to 70070

Contact Wings4warriors if you would like to fundraise on their behalf

If you can’t afford to donate or are unable to assist in fundraising, you can still help the team by leaving a nice comment to keep them motivated on our Facebook post.

Oil and Gas People would like to thank Mark and Chris for the hospitality extended to us during our visit and the time they gave to explain their story and background.

If you have a story related to the oil and gas industry that you would like to bring to our attention, please contact our news team in confidence at: news@oilandgaspeople.com

 


 

A video of huge waves crashing against a North Sea rig has had almost 10,000 views in just 48 hours.

Written by – 28/10/2016 12:35 pm

A video of huge waves crashing against a North Sea rig has had almost 10,000 views in just 48 hours.

The footage shows an offshore worker battling against the huge surge.

It is not clear when the footage was taken.

Take a look at the video.

https://www.energyvoice.com/video-2/122920/video-footage-incredible-waves-off-north-sea-rig-goes-viral/

Airbus cuts almost 600 helicopter jobs as crash, oil clip demand

1604455_553072624853627_2823479078712279326_n-super-puma-ec225lp-and-as332l2airframes

 

Airbus cuts almost 600 helicopter jobs as crash, oil clip demand

Airbus H225

Written by – 28/10/2016 5:30 am

Airbus Group SE announced the first of what may prove to be thousands of job cuts across its business, saying it will eliminate 582 posts at its helicopter arm following a slump in demand from the oil and gas industry and a fatal crash that grounded one of its most popular models.

The cuts will come at the main Airbus Helicopters base in Marignane, near Marseille, which has an 8,944-strong workforce, and La Courneuve, on the outskirts of Paris, which employs 750 people, and amount to about 6 percent of the unit’s French payroll. The division has about 23,000 staff worldwide.

The loss of an H225 Super Puma in the North Sea on April 29, which killed 13 people, prompted the European Aviation Safety Agency to ground the model after a probe found that the main rotor hub had detached from the gearbox. While EASA lifted the ban on the heavy-lift model after recommending modifications, it remains in place in Norway and the U.K., curbing flights with the oil industry workhorse and denting vital services revenue for Airbus.

Helicopter operations among oil and gas companies were already on the decline as the lower price of crude led them to rein in flights. Airbus also sold more light models in the first nine months and accrued unspecified “campaign costs,” the Toulouse, France-based company said in an earnings release, with helicopter profit falling 17 percent to 200 million euros ($219 million).

German Transfers

Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders wrote to employees in September saying a round of job cuts was planned as part of an effort to pare costs and better match output to demand, especially at Airbus’s helicopter and A380 superjumbo operations. At the same time he ruled out measures on the scale of a 2007 program that eliminated 8,000 posts and led to the sale of two U.K. factories.

Airbus Helicopters spokesman Yves Barille said the current cuts, due in 2017 and 2018, would come via voluntary departures and that there are no plans to eliminate positions elsewhere. Over the summer the unit moved some workers from France to Germany, where it has almost 6,900 staff and builds the lighter H135 and H145 models, the mid-size NH90 and the Tiger attack helicopter.

Airbus as a whole had 137,000 workers worldwide as of July, with 55,000 of them employed at its main jetliner division

 

 

EXCLUSIVE: S92 Emergency – Crew Prepared Passengers to Ditch as Cost Saving Measures Put Lives at Risk

EXCLUSIVE: S92 Emergency – Crew Prepared Passengers to Ditch as Cost Saving Measures Put Lives at Risk

Published in Oil Industry News on Friday, 21 October 2016 Graphic for News Item:

Graphic for News Item: EXCLUSIVE: S92 Emergency - Crew Prepared Passengers to Ditch as Cost Saving Measures Put Lives at Risk

EXCLUSIVE: S92 Emergency – Crew Prepared Passengers to Ditch as Cost Saving Measures Put Lives at Risk Oil and Gas People have obtained the internal crew report from the helicopter emergency incident we broke on Sunday the 16th of October. The report (available below) confirms a CHC owned Sikorsky S92 Helicopter declared an emergency after a fire warning light was triggered on one of its engines. Both primary and reserve fire suppression systems were activated and the engine fire warning light persisted. Pilots dropped the aircraft to 500 feet and briefed passengers in anticipation of an emergency ditching.

Luckily the aircraft was close by two offshore installations and was able to get visual confirmation that no signs of fire or smoke were present from Petrojarll Banff Heli staff. This negative confirmation enabled pilots to assume a spurious indication and continue flying the aircraft to shore. The assistance of a Bristow’s helicopter was requested by Air Traffic Control to tail the aircraft back to base and keep pilots informed of any new indications of fire. Had this helicopter been flying in an isolated area of the North Sea where negative confirmation of an engine fire was not possible, emergency procedures would have required the helicopter to ditch and due to the false indication would have needlessly jeopardised the lives of all passengers and crew on board.

Today an aviation industry insider who wishes to stay anonymous has advised Oil and Gas People that a tail mounted camera upgrade for the S92 is available and has been recommended which gives pilots their own eyes on the aircraft engines. This would have allowed for instant confirmation and monitoring as to whether a fire existed or developed. This confirmation in the event of a real fire would save vital seconds / minutes in the decision process to ditch the aircraft. The camera modification costs around $50,000 which given the S92s history of spurious warning lights seems a small price to pay for an upgrade that could prevent a helicopter needlessly ditching.

The upgrade however also requires each aircraft to be out of service for one week at a time when there is a lack of available helicopters following the grounding of the Super Puma fleet in June this year, a factor that is no doubt pivotal in the decision not to implement the cameras on this aircraft. Oil and Gas People have learned that the camera system has already been adopted on other helicopter models but has not yet been implemented on all Sikorsky S92s.

The original crew report is available below and we have clarified the following terms for your reference: AMSL = Above Mean Sea Level, ECL = Emergency Check List, HLO = Helicopter Landing Officer, ATC = Air Traffic Control, OEI = One Engine Inoperative

Title: Engine Fire warning Number 2 Description: Levelled off at 1000 feet AMSL with 10 mins to go to the Offshore platform we were alerted by the Engine fire warning Audio and associated captions (No. 2). P2 was Pilot Flying (PF) initiated immediate actions, P1 was pilot Monitoring (PM) and initiated Immediate actions firing off the Main fire bottle. After 15 secs fire warnings were still indicating FIRE, so Reserve fire bottle fired, during the 15 sec wait the P2 initiated a Right hand turn and descent to 500 feet in anticipation of ditching, ECL drills completed. PM in right hand seat checked outside for other confirming indications (smoke) and NON seen, suspecting a spurious alarm and as we were close by two other offshore installations and we decided to contact one of them to get some form of visual confirmation from the HLO before we Ditched or returned to base in the darkness. Petrojarll Banff HLO confirmed that there were no visible signs of fire from the Starboard side and although we had prepped the passengers for a possible ditching we deemed it safer to return to base and briefed them of such. ATC and offshore installations were fully aware of our situation and kept updated of our intentions at all times.

ATC co-ordinated a Bristows A/c to fly behind to monitor for any deterioration in our situation. A/c returned to base OEI and running landing with Emergency services in full attendance. If you have a story relating to the oil and gas industry that you would like to bring to our attention, please contact our news team in confidence at: news@oilandgaspeople.com


Health & Safety offshore is no accident,offshore trade unions through the offshore  coordinating  group (OCG) and the Norwegian unions work together to raise and maintain the high levels of Health & Safety standards in the major risk industry of Oil & Gas offshore sector in the North Sea.

Offshore trade unions work with all stakeholders offshore to ensure safety is the number one priority at all times protecting  all who work, travel and maintain the North Sea offshore helicopter fleet and that they are trained to the highest safety standards.

This latest helicopter incident highlights another case of where the helicopter crew and backup services averted a potential controlled ditching in the sea due to their quick thinking, high levels of skill and experience, enabled them to quickly  assess and avert any  ditching.  They then  were able to decide on the safest and the best course of action to take, which resulted in all crew and passengers returning back home safe, the helicopter crew and all backup service personnel are to be commended.

Offshore trade unions will continue to raise and highlight issues of Health & Safety  for  workers offshore and  will demand protection and highest training standards and equipment  for workers and  will hold account all stakeholders, legislators, manufacturers,employers, contractors and governments to ensure Health & Safety offshore is no accident.

ocg

The Offshore Coordinating Group of offshore unions (UNITE, RMT, GMB, Nautilus International and BALPA) was launched in February 2016.

The aims and objectives of the Group are to:

• co-ordinate the recruitment and organisation of all employees in the offshore oil and gas industries and thereafter to seek recognition on their behalf.

• campaign to improve both the quality and security of employment in the offshore sector and the health, safety and wellbeing of all offshore workers.

• organise and pursue effective campaigns on issues identified by the Group in the interests of the offshore workforce.

• organise and articulate the collective trade union voice in strategic discussions with Government at all levels, regulators and employer organisations.

http://www.offshoreworkers.org.uk/

 

 


Get protected at work , can you afford not too ?   Join Unite the Union

join unite 2

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/

If you have a story relating to the oil and gas industry that you would like to bring to Unite the Unions attention, please contact our Unite offshore team in confidence @ : offshoreunite@gmail.com

Three Oil Workers Survive Helicopter Crash in Russia That Leaves 19 Dead

Three Oil Workers Survive Helicopter Crash That Leaves 19 Dead

Published in Oil Industry News on Sunday, 23 October 2016

Graphic for News Item: Three Oil Workers Survive Helicopter Crash That Leaves 19 Dead

Nineteen people were killed and three more hospitalized after an Mi-8 helicopter crash-landed on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, Russian Emergencies Ministry has confirmed.

Two black boxes of the Mi-8 have been found by rescue teams “in good condition,” a source told Russian News Site RIA Novosti.

Reports from the ground say that the helicopter was badly damaged upon landing and fell onto its side, but did not explode. Poor visibility was being reported on the ground.

Earlier, a survivor of the crash reached the rescuers via a cell phone. The man said he was trapped in the wreckage.

Two rescue helicopters with paramedics and emergency workers were dispatched to the site, with a total of 140 people involved in the operation.

According to recent reports, the bodies of all of the crash victims have been recovered from the wreckage of the aircraft. The three men in the helicopter crew are listed among the dead. The passengers are said to be oil-industry workers.

Search and rescue operations at the crash site have now ended.

An investigation has been launched under Part 3 of article 263 of the criminal code entitled “Violation of safety rules and operation of air transport, resulting in the death of two or more persons,” TASS reported, citing the Investigation Committee.

“The investigation deals with three main versions of the crash of the aircraft: a violation of the rules of operation and flight safety, equipment failure, and adverse weather conditions. None of these is so far regarded as most likely,” the Investigation Committee said in a statement.

Criminologists from the central office of Russia’s Investigative Committee will be taking part in the investigation, as well as experts from the Interstate Aviation Committee.

Reports of the Mi-8 helicopter crash-landing 80 kilometers northwest of the settlement of Urengoy came in late Friday local time. The helicopter, belonging to the Skol air company, was flying to the Suzumskoye oil and gas field in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region, TASS reported. The airworthiness certificate of the helicopter, which was manufactured in 1984, was valid until 2017, according to the Federal Air Transport Agency.

A day of mourning was announced for the region following the news of the crash.

“October 22 is proclaimed as a day of mourning. The flags on [governmental and public institutions] will be lowered, all recreational activities canceled,” the region’s assistant governor, Kudrat Baychibaev, told RIA Novosti news agency.

District Governor Dmitry Kobylkin has expressed his condolences to the families of the crash victims.

 

Tags

Helicopter Crash, Siberia, Russia, Skol Air

Breaking – 19 Reported Dead as Helicopter Carrying Oil Workers Crashes

Breaking – 19 Reported Dead as Helicopter Carrying Oil Workers Crashes

Published in Oil Industry News on Saturday, 22 October 2016

Graphic for News Item: Breaking - 19 Reported Dead as Helicopter Carrying Oil Workers Crashes

Russia’s aviation agency says 19 people have died after a helicopter carrying oil workers crashed.

The Federal Air Transport Agency says in its statement Saturday that 16 of the 19 passengers on board and all three crew members died in Friday’s crash in northern Russia.

The Mi-8 helicopter was traveling from Vankor to Staryi Urengoi in the Yamalo-Nenets region when it crashed about 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Staryi Urengoi.

Rescuers found the helicopter lying on its side in the tundra. The agency said poor visibility and strong winds could have been factors.

The Mi-8 has been a mainstay of Soviet and Russian aviation since the late 1960s and is widely used worldwide.

Source: uk.news.yahoo.com


 

Nineteen people die in helicopter crash in northern Russia

Three survivors taken to hospital after Mi-8 carrying oil workers comes down 28 miles north-east of Staryi Urengoi

Site of Mi-8 helicopter crash in northern Russia.
Site of Mi-8 helicopter crash in northern Russia. Photograph: Tass/Barcroft Images

Nineteen people have been killed after a helicopter carrying oil workers crashed in northern Russia.

The country’s aviation agency said 16 of the 19 passengers and all three crew members died when the aircraft crashed on Friday afternoon. The three survivors were taken to hospital.

The Mi-8 helicopter was travelling from Vankor to Staryi Urengoi in the Yamalo-Nenets region when it came down about 28 miles (45km) north-east of its destination.

It took rescuers seven hours to reach the crash site amid fog and poor visibility. Colonel Dmitry Alexandrov, a regional government official, said the helicopter “fell on its right side, and the victims could not get out”.

The governor of Yamalo-Nenets, Dmitry Kobylkin, announced a day of mourning on Saturday with flags lowered and entertainment events cancelled, calling the accident a source of “great sorrow for all of us”.

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, expressed his condolences to the relatives and friends of those who died, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

File image of an Mi-8 helicopter.
Pinterest
File image of an Mi-8 helicopter. Photograph: Russian Helicopters

The aircraft, owned by the Siberian Skol aviation company, was transporting workers from a subcontractor of the Russian oil giant Rosneft, the Tass news agency reported.

Russia’s investigative committee said the crash could have been caused by a failure to comply with flight safety regulations, mechanical problems or difficult weather conditions. The agency has opened a criminal investigation.

The twin-engined Mi-8 series is the most successful Russian helicopter model, with more than 12,000 produced since it was first built in the late 1960s.

They have been sold to more than 100 countries and have spent about 100m hours in the air. However, there have been several crashes involving the helicopters n recent years.

In July 2013, an Mi-8 carrying 25 passengers crashed in a remote area of eastern Siberia, killing 21 people.

In June 2014, 16 people died after an Mi-8 with 18 people onboard plunged into Lake Munozero, near Murmansk, in northern Russia.

And in November 2015, 15 people died when an Mi-8 crashed near Igarka in western Siberia, while another 10 were injured.

 


 

This highlights the harsh and dangerous conditions oil workers face while traveling to  and from work in a high-risk sector , where major accidents and incidents can happen at any time.

Our thoughts and prayers  and deepest  condolences to all affected by this tragedy.