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Energy / Sullom Voe Terminal operator given health and safety notice over pipework inspections

Sullom Voe Terminal. Photo: BP
Sullom Voe Terminal. Photo: BP

THE OPERATOR of Sullom Voe Terminal has received an improvement notice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after failing to ensure that ‘dead-leg’ pipework at the site was inspected at “suitable intervals”.

The improvement notice was served to terminal operator EnQuest in mid-February.

It warned that failing to inspect the pipework in question regularly could give rise to the loss of flammable and dangerous substances.

A spokesperson said the oil company will “fully comply with the terms of the notice”.

Dead-leg pipework is piping containing process builds under stagnant, no or low flow conditions, and internal corrosion can be aggressive leading to accelerated thinning of the pipe wall.

The HSE improvement notice said: “You have failed to ensure that all dead-leg pipework within your premises, identified in your dead-leg management review as at risk of exposure to conditions causing deterioration, including microbiological induced corrosion, have been inspected at suitable intervals, thereby giving rise to an unacceptable risk of loss of integrity, failure of pipework and subsequent loss of containment of flammable and highly flammable COMAH [Control of Major Accident Hazards] substances.”

In response, an EnQuest spokesperson told Shetland News: “EnQuest can confirm it has received an improvement notice from the Health and Safety Executive in relation to its dead-leg pipework inspection programme at the Sullom Voe Terminal.

“EnQuest will fully comply with the terms of the notice, having already implemented a revised inspection programme previously accepted with the Health & Safety Executive and other relevant stakeholders.”

In a recent annual report for the year ending 31 December 2020, EnQuest said it experienced “pipeline issues” at Sullom Voe Terminal, although there was 100 per cent service availability on site.

It added that EnQuest is “committed to continuous improvement in asset integrity”.

EnQuest became Sullom Voe Terminal operator in 2017, taking over from BP.