Two Dead in Dutch North Sea Gas Platform Accident

By MarEx 2013-06-14 11:16:00

* Two workers killed in accident on Dutch gas platform

* Platform already out of production

(Reuters) - Two people died and one was injured in an accident on a North Sea gas platform belonging to French oil and gas utility GDF Suez, the company said on Friday.

At the time of the incident, the L5A platform, 103 kilometres north of Den Helder, was out of production and depressurized, the company said.

A GDF Suez spokeswoman in Paris said there had not been a gas explosion but an accident with a heat exchanger, which exploded while being tested under pressure. The platform has not been evacuated, she added.

Dutch Coast Guard spokesman Peter Westenberg said a high-pressure hose shot loose during maintenance work, killing two workers and injuring a third, who was taken by helicopter to the hospital. There was no fire or explosion, he said.

On its website, GDF Suez E&P Nederland says it is one of the largest operators in the Dutch sector of the North Sea, with more than 30 producing platforms and a number of sub-sea wells, all connected via a system of underwater pipelines.

The GDF Suez spokeswoman could not immediately say how much gas the platform produces when in operation.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Anthony Deutsch; editing by Jane Baird