BREAKING: Coast Guard S92 Helicopter Wreckage Located

 

BREAKING: Coast Guard S92 Helicopter Wreckage Located

Published in Oil Industry News on Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Graphic for News Item: BREAKING: Coast Guard S92 Helicopter Wreckage Located

The wreckage of an S92 Coastguard Helicopter which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean has been located confirms officials.

The wreckage was located around 60m from Blackrock island after a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) was sent down to search the seabed.

Initial evidence suggests the Sikorsky S92 struck rocks on the islands before crashing into the ocean.

Of the four crew on board when the helicopter went down, only Captain Dara Fitzpatrick has been recovered and she later succumbed to her injuries and died in hospital. The other three crew members, Captain Mark Duffy, Winchman Ciaran Smith and Winch Operator Paul Ormsby remain missing.

The Irish Coast Guard confirmed Rescue 116 is lying about 40m below the surface on the eastern side of Blackrock Island.

There was no information on whether any of the missing crew members were within the aircraft wreckage.

“Operations are continuing but are weather dependent,” Ireland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit said.

The AAIU has previously advised that they suspect the tail of Rescue 116 struck rocks on the western end of the island during flight. There was no warning or distress call issue in the moments leading up to the accident, with the crew’s final transmission being: “Shortly landing at Blacksod”

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

 

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Offshore Coordinating Group (OCG) are Hitting the Road and Coming to YOU!

ocg

 

 March 2017

Offshore Coordinating Group are Hitting the Road and Coming to YOU!

Want to be heard?

Want to be involved?

Do you want YOUR say?

We want to hear what you have to say, come along and visit us at one of our road shows, more venues to be confirmed!

Monday 3 April 17’ 6pm – 8pm

Newcastle Jurys Inn (city centre)

Tuesday 4 April 17’ 6pm – 8pm

Glasgow Premier Inn, George Sq.

Wednesday 5 April 17’ 6pm – 8pm

Dundee Queens Hotel

Thursday 6 April 17’ 1pm – 3pm

Aberdeen Jurys Inn

IDEAS FOR THE WORKFORCE, BY THE WORKFORCE

 

 

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If you are  a Unite the union member and work offshore and you are  looking to attend please let us know  also please contact offshoreunite@gmail.com  in confidence ref any issues or questions you may have for the Offshore co-ordinating group


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Unite offshore members vote to reject pay deal

pay-dispute

Unite Scotland Press Release   

For immediate release: Monday 20 March

 

Unite offshore members vote to reject pay deal

 

Members of Scotland’s biggest offshore trade union have voted to reject a pay offer.

 

In a consultative ballot, 81 per cent of Unite members voted to reject the latest deal put forward by their employers, represented by the Offshore Contractors Association.

 

This is the second pay offer rejected by members. In December, 85 per cent of Unite members voted to reject a previous OCA proposal that would have seen no increase in their pay and no improvement to their terms and conditions.

 

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: “We have repeatedly warned the OCA employers and other offshore employers that we cannot simply have a race to the bottom, with companies competing with each other to suppress the pay and conditions of offshore workers.

 

“It’s bad for our members and it’s bad for the local economies that rely on their incomes.

 

“Those companies who invest in their workers and see them as genuine partners will reap the benefits in the future. Those who don’t will end up lagging behind, and will always face the possibility of industrial action from their workforce.

 

“We will now consult with our union members and Unite workplace representatives about the way forward, given they now have a mandate for an industrial action ballot following the rejection of the pay offer.”

 

Unite is seeking a significant wage increase for members, along with improved sick pay and paid travel time to an employer’s onshore base.

we deserve better

ENDS  

 

Notes to editors

 

For further information contact Unite Scotland regional officer Tommy Campbell on 07810 157920, or Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / david.eyre@unitetheunion.org

 

For more information on the companies represented by the OCA, see their website http://www.ocainternet.com/

 

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.

 


Can you afford not to be member of Unite the Union

 

Join Unite the Union  today

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

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McCluskey calls for government inquiry into Forties pipeline sale

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– See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/mccluskey-calls-for-government-inquiry-into-forties-pipeline-sale/#sthash.z1ZYpKhj.dpuf

McCluskey calls for government inquiry into Forties pipeline sale

17 March 2017

Responding to the news that BP is in talks with the petrochemical company Ineos over the sale of the crucial Forties oil pipeline, Len McCluskey the leader of the UK’s biggest union, Unite, called for an urgent government inquiry into the ownership of critical industrial resources.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite said: “This sale concerns us all. With the possible purchase of the Forties field by Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos, the extraction and processing of a precious commodity could soon be controlled by one individual.

“The most important route for oil out of the North Sea and onto UK shores is now about to pass into the hands of one man.

“No matter who that individual is, the potential for power to be exercised without social responsibility is clearly there. That is not something any responsible government should find acceptable.

“Unite is calling upon the governments at both Westminster and Holyrood to state that they will look into the ramifications of this sale.

“We need an immediate, full inquiry to ensure that the correct checks and balances are securely in place.

“Furthermore, the case for the state to have a stake in vital resources like the supply of oil and gas has never been stronger.  The principle must be that these commodities being sustained in the public interest, not for private profit.”

ENDS

For further information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.

– See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/mccluskey-calls-for-government-inquiry-into-forties-pipeline-sale/#sthash.z1ZYpKhj.dpuf

 

 

 


 

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Offshore trade unions wait for proof of Super Puma safety

Offshore unions wait for proof of Super Puma safety

 

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Offshore workers say the Super Puma helicopters involved in a series of crashes and other safety incidents must have full official safety clearance before they are allowed back into service. The union was speaking out about the grounded helicopters after key offshore and aviation industry players gathered behind closed doors for an update on the investigation into a deadly crash in Norway. The possibility of a return to service of Super Puma helicopters was discussed as part of the meeting with manufacturer Airbus, a proposal that has been quashed by air safety regulators. RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy said: “We just made our position clear that we have got to wait for the investigation to be completed before we consider the return to service. Everybody agreed that this was the case anyway. The CAA and the Norwegian CAA has not and will not change until the conclusion of the investigation, which is at the end of April.” He added: “Airbus showed us a lot of stuff that they are doing but whether that returns the aircraft to service or not is not for Airbus to decide – it is for the regulators, the oil industry and the workers to decide.” The Airbus aircraft have been grounded since a fatal crash off Norway last April killed all 13 people on board. In the wake of the tragedy off

The possibility of a return to service of Super Puma helicopters was discussed as part of the meeting with manufacturer Airbus, a proposal that has been quashed by air safety regulators. RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy said: “We just made our position clear that we have got to wait for the investigation to be completed before we consider the return to service. Everybody agreed that this was the case anyway. The CAA and the Norwegian CAA has not and will not change until the conclusion of the investigation, which is at the end of April.” He added: “Airbus showed us a lot of stuff that they are doing but whether that returns the aircraft to service or not is not for Airbus to decide – it is for the regulators, the oil industry and the workers to decide.” The Airbus aircraft have been grounded since a fatal crash off Norway last April killed all 13 people on board. In the wake of the tragedy off Turoey, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) stopped flights for both the model involved, the H225, and its sister chopper the AS332 L2. Although the flight ban was lifted back in October, aviation regulators in the UK and Norway decided to maintain the grounding until a full investigation into the cause of the Norway accident was completed.

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Ÿ  Unite news release. Energy Voice.

Tommy Campbell, chair of the Offshore Coordinating Group (OCG) of trade unions said: “The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) report is a further development in the investigation process, but it is just part of that process.

“The OCG will await the outcome of investigations aimed at providing proof around what caused the tragedy in Norway and thereafter we will react to those findings.

“The OCG accepts and fully understands the concerns of our respective members and their families, and the OCG trade unions will continue to support members during this period.

“There is no question of this aircraft type coming back into service anytime soon as a consequence of these latest findings.

“If that position changes, we will engage with our members to determine a position”.

 

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Helicopter Safety is No accident Unite and offshore Unions who formed the  Trade Union offshore coordinating group (OCG http://www.offshoreworkers.org.uk/)  demand the highest health & safety measures  to protect all who work fly and travel in  offshore helicopters and the OCG works with the Norwegian sector  trade unions  to ensure standard  are maintained

ocg


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Reminder: OCA Pay offer, Electronic Consultative ballot is still open. Ballot Closes Noon 20 March, please remember to use your vote

 

 Just 2 and 1/2  full days left to Vote   : Electronic  Ballot  Closes  Monday 20 March  1200 Noon

OCA

Ref: OCA Pay increase offer

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Dear Unite Member

Ref: OCA Pay increase offer

As you will be aware Union members, working under the Offshore Contractors Association Agreement, rejected an offer from the OCA in a consultative ballot vote following which both Unite and GMB declared a formal Trades Dispute with the OCA.

In an attempt to avoid a Trades Dispute your union  Workplace Reps, National and Regional Union  Officers have held further negotiations over the past few weeks with senior officials of the OCA as per the dispute resolution procedure.

For your information and consideration, the letter from the OCA dated 8th February 2017  outlining their pay increase offer, is in the link 

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We have repeatedly pointed out to the OCA employers that we want all those working under the OCA agreement to receive a  pay increase so that those who are on wages above the OCA minimum pay rates should get their OCA part of their salary uplifted by the % increases offered by the OCA.

Unfortunately, the OCA are saying that their mandate only covers the minimum rates of pay.

It would then be down to the individual OCA companies who pay in excess of the OCA rates to decide if they apply the % increase to the additional part of their employees’ salary or not.

We are now communicating this OCA  offer to you because it’s the Unions members that decide if the pay increase offer is acceptable or unacceptable as it’s not for the Union Workplace Reps or Union officers to make that decision.

We would be grateful if you now gave careful consideration to the OCA pay increase offer as outlined in their letter and decide whether you find it is acceptable or not.

Postal ballots are not giving us the desired high percentage ballot returns we would like to get from our Unite members. It is, of course, vital that we reach out to all our members and they cast their votes accordingly. As ever, it is you the member who will determine the outcome of this ballot.

Please make sure that you exercise your digital vote no later than 12.00 noon on Monday  20th March 2017 and encourage your fellow Unite members to do likewise.

You will be receiving an email with your unique voting code and details how to vote very shortly. Please check your emails and junk/spam folders in case in goes there. If you do not receive the voting email contact the Unite office on 01224 645271.

We are still requiring an update from some Union members as to their personal details of job title and current work location so we are continuing to write or e-mail separately to those who we still need these details from.

So if you have received a letter or e – mail requesting this information then please respond as we do need it for legal purposes for a strike ballot.

This is because should the OCA pay offer be rejected then it’s more likely that we will be looking at sustained periods of strike action over the coming months and possibly throughout the summer should the return from an industrial action ballot give union members that legal mandate to strike.

Yours sincerely

Tommy Campbell  &  John Boland

Regional Officers


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Fury at billionaire Jim Ratcliffe ‘bringing North Sea oil and gas pipelines under his control’

Fury at billionaire Jim Ratcliffe ‘bringing

If the deal goes ahead the fracking supporter and owner of Grangemouth Refinery will have control of the pipeline system bringing in one million barrels a day from offshore fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

petroineos march

 

  • 18:38, 16 MAR 2017
  • UPDATED18:40, 16 MAR 2017

Billionaire boss of petrochemical giant Ineos Jim Ratcliffe has the pipelines which bring North Sea oil and gas ashore within his grasp, the Daily Record can reveal.

The owner of the Grangemouth Refinery is in talks with oil giant BP to buy the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) which would give him control over potentially more than one million barrels a day from offshore fields.

Fury erupted last night (Thurs) at the prospect of fracking supporter Ratcliffe, with his history of bad industrial relations, seizing the reins of such a strategic network.

Ratcliffe has been the driving force behind bringing the shale gas industry – onshore drilling known as fracking – to Scotland but has so far been thwarted by a Scottish Government ban.

One shocked oil industry source who fears putting the pipelines in Ratcliffe’s control said: “Holy sh*t. This would be like giving a monkey a machete.

“Letting Jim Ratcliffe loose on all the operators who feed into that pipeline is a dangerous, dangerous ploy.

“He could at a stroke just cull that whole region with ownership of that pipeline by increasing tariffs. Oil operators pay tariffs to put their product into the pipeline.

“If he were to start messing companies about with increased tariffs and everything else it could make their operations uneconomical.”

Another source said: “Ratcliffe already has one major bit of national infrastructure in his hands which he threatened to close in 2015, now he’s going to get another if this deal goes ahead – and that’s a concern.”

Last night both BP and Ineos confirmed to the Record that they were in discussions “regarding a potential sale”.

BP owns all of the Forties pipeline system and the oil that flows through the system is critical in setting the price of Dated Brent, an international crude benchmark.

Ratcliffe is notorious for the tough line he took in 2013 with workers at Grangemouth, Scotland’s biggest industrial site.

After a dispute over the suspension of a shop steward, he closed the plant and vowed to walk away for good unless workers accepted major cuts to their pensions and conditions.

Last night a Government source moved to allay fears that Ratcliffe could hold the country to ransom by gaining control of the FPS.

The Whitehall insider said that such large deals can be referred to the UK government for review and if there were any serious risk to the UK infrastructure Ministers could intervene.

They pointed out: “The UK Oil and Gas Authority issue permits to operate the pipeline infrastructure and operators in the North Sea are obliged to comply with their policy of ‘maximum economic recovery’. If they do not the Authority can stop the permit and re-issue it to another operator.”

In effect, if Ineos were to “turn off the tap”, the Government could strip the company of its pipeline control and award it elsewhere.

The Government insider added: “Also, there are so many contracts with suppliers coming on and off the pipeline that the commercial consequences of a close down would be disastrous for an operator.”

However an industry insider said: “There’s still the spectre of someone like Ratcliffe who’s pushing the fracking agenda being able to cause problems by holding such control over a key element of our energy industry.

“Despite the safeguards, he could still make life difficult to bring pressure to bear on Government and who’s to say he couldn’t absorb any losses incurred during that time.”

And Scottish secretary of the Unite union Pat Rafferty said: “Our members at BP will have major concerns about the possibility of becoming employees of Ineos, a company with a clear history of attacking our members’ pensions, as well as their terms and conditions, in order to maximise profit.

“If a sale does go ahead, we will fight to protect our members in every way we can, and Ineos should work with us to allay their fears.”

But Rafferty also warned: ““There is also a wider issue of economic power. The Forties Pipeline System carries a massive amount of the UK’s oil.

“Grangemouth is the one of the country’s major refineries. Both of these pieces of vital national infrastructure could soon be effectively in the hands of one man. That is an incredible amount of power.

“It’s not so long ago that both Grangemouth and the Forties pipeline were owned by all of us, and operated by a nationalised British Petroleum with a responsibility to look at what was good for the country as a whole, not just what was good for a small group of wealthy individuals.”

Rafferty said: “We need a national debate now.

“Do our politicians believe in an economy where power is widely held and used for the benefit of us all, or are they happy with power in the hands of a tiny minority whose biggest concern is their own personal benefit?

“Is it right, or sensible, to give the power to turn off the taps – and bring the entire country to a standstill – to one private company, without any democratic involvement or oversight?

“Unite doesn’t believe that is good for workers or good for the country. Our members will be listening closely to the views of our governments both at Westminster and Holyrood.”

Last night BP confirmed talks were ongoing with Ineos.

A spokesman said: “BP can confirm it is in discussions with Ineos regarding a potential sale of the Forties Pipeline System.

“We remain committed to communicating openly with staff and our stakeholders as soon as we are able, and as commercial confidentialities allow, if any deal is confirmed or agreed.”

An Ineos spokesman said: “At this stage I can confirm that we are in discussions with BP.

“At the moment the details of the conversation are unfortunately confidential and I cannot say very much more at this stage.

“As you know Ineos has been at the Grangemouth site since 2005 when we acquired it from BP so there’s been a natural linkage where we have taken raw materials from the Forties Pipeline System into the refinery and into our petrochemicals plant.

“But in terms of further information relating to discussion that we might be having with BP on Forties, I cannot go into any more detail.”

The pipeline was originally built to transport oil from the Forties field, discovered in 1970, to the Grangemouth refinery.

In the following decades additional discoveries were connected to the system. BP sold the Forties field to Apache and the refinery to Ineos Group AG while retaining control of the pipeline system.

While crude’s decline has made it more difficult for companies to sell oil fields, there has been demand for infrastructure related to the deposits.

Brent crude has dropped 56 per cent since 2014 forcing companies around the world to shrink and sell assets to protect their finances.