Canadian Manufacturing

Fire that closed Nova Scotia offshore oil platform being investigated

Encana, safety regulator investigating cause of blaze on offshore oil platform operated by SBM Offshore



HALIFAX—An electrical fire on the Deep Panuke natural gas platform off Nova Scotia is being investigated by the regulator for the offshore oil and gas industry.

The platform has stopped operations while Encana Corp. and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) investigate the cause of the fire.

Board spokesperson Kathleen Funke said a transformer caught fire Aug. 3 and a sprinkler system extinguished the blaze.

The platform operated by Netherlands-based SBM Offshore N.V. had an electrical fire on Jan. 19, 2013, that also resulted in a temporary shutdown of its operations.

Safety reports obtained by The Canadian Press said a failure to conduct annual maintenance inspections was the underlying reason behind that fire.

The report was one of three that flagged electrical problems aboard Deep Panuke, located about 250 kilometres southeast of Halifax.

Funke said it is too early to determine whether there is any link between the fires and the earlier electrical problems.

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