Ninian Southern platform: Full evacuation ordered ahead of dangerous storm

Ninian Southern platform: Full evac ordered ahead of dangerous storm
Storm Caroline (Source: Met Office)

Following earlier reports that CNR International would evacuate around 70 workers from its Ninian Southern platform ahead of the Storm Caroline, this has now turned into a full evacuation.

The company had early on Wednesday said it would leave around 90 people aboard the offshore unit, however, in an afternoon update it said that due to an adverse weather forecast during the coming days, “a down-man of personnel from its Ninian Southern platform continues.”

“This is in accordance with existing procedures developed to safely manage the structural integrity of the Ninian Southern jacket, in conjunction with support from industry specialist consultants.”

CNR International has been carrying out remedial work on the platform’s jacket structure through the summer after a defect was identified during routine monitoring and inspection, and assurance activities are currently ongoing to confirm their effectiveness.

“In order to ensure the safety of all personnel on board, as storm conditions are forecast for the coming days, the company has taken the proactive decision to shut down production this morning and fully down-man Ninian Southern today as a precaution,” CNR International said in its update on Wednesday afternoon.

Ninian Southern is located 240 miles from Aberdeen in the northern North Sea. There were 54 personnel remaining on board the installation at the time of the release of CNR International’s last update.

90mph gusts expected

As previously reported, a developing area of low-pressure, which will bring gales to parts of northern and western Scotland on Thursday morning, has been named as Storm Caroline.

A Met Office Amber National Severe Weather Warning for wind has been issued for the far north of Scotland with gusts widely expected of around 70-80mph and 90mph in more exposed areas.

Meanwhile a Yellow warning has also been issued for wind covering parts of central and southern Scotland and the extreme north of Northern Ireland with wind gusts of 60-70mph expected quite widely across the warning area and up to 80mph in the more exposed north-facing coastal locations.

The warnings area which extends from 8am on Thursday until midnight includes most of the Western Isles, the Northern Isles and the majority of mainland Scotland from Oban to Aberdeen.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said: “The strongest winds will reach the northwest of Scotland early on Thursday, extending to northeast Scotland and the Northern Isles in the afternoon. During Thursday winds will start to ease in the west with the strongest of the winds becoming confined to the Northern Isles in the evening.”

The strong winds may affect Scotland’s road, rail, air and ferry services, and longer journey times and cancellation of services are possible. Within the amber warning area flying debris could be an issue and some damage to buildings is possible, such as tiles blowing off roofs. As with any period of strong winds, there may be some short-term loss of power and effects on other services. In addition, it is likely that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities will be affected by spray and/or large waves.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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