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North Sea shutdown

Nexen's Buzzard platform

AN OIL field south east of Shetland has been shut down by its operators Nexen after a release of steam set off an alarm, but is expected to re-open on Wednesday. No one has been injured.

The Buzzard field opened 12 years ago and was subject to prolonged closure last autumn for maintenance. It is one of the biggest producers in the North Sea.

The closure comes a day after BP were criticised by safety authorities for poor maintenance at its Ula field, in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority has called for a review of the management of the platform, where a “substantial” 125 barrel oil leak took place last September, which they said could have been greater and cost lives.

Two months earlier in July there had been a fire on a BP installation in the Valhall field, in the North Sea.

The oil company has been ordered to review the way it maintains ageing platforms.

BP said that work had already started to address the issues raised by the PSA.

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