Energy giant ConocoPhillips (UK) Ltd has failed in its bid to reduce the level of fine handed down after multiple gas releases at an offshore facility in the North Sea. ConocoPhillips, a UK subsidiary of US Energy Corporation, explores for oil and natural gas and is the largest company of its kind in the world. Starting at the end of November 2012, there were three gas release incidents during maintenance work on the Lincolnshire Offshore Gas Gathering System (LOGGS) installation operated and part-owned by the company (Risks 738). Some gas entered the turbine hall at a dangerous proximity to the 66 people working on the platform at the time. The company pleaded guilty to criminal safety breaches and was fined £3m in February 2016. At the appeal hearing, held in the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Lord Justice Treacy dismissed the appeal made by ConocoPhillips (UK) Ltd. He told that court the company had fallen short of appropriate standards and the case was one of high culpability. Lord Justice Treacy said: “The risk involved was foreseeable and significant. If the gas had ignited the risk to personnel of death or serious injury was extremely high. At least seven personnel had been put at extreme risk with a further five at particularly high risk. However, all 66 occupants of the platform had been put at significant risk.” He added: “The applicant fell markedly short of a reasonably practicable standard for a safe system of work. There had been multiple failures and omissions in the permit to work system and these failures had extended over some months.”
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