Gas leak in North Sea

A typical oil rig (not Elgin Platform) picture provided by Manchot sanguinaire

A gas leak at the Elgin platform, 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen has been ongoing since Sunday.

238 workers have been evacuated from the platform and the nearby Rowan Viking drilling rig as well as Shell have moved personnel.  A three mile safety zone had been put in place but it has been increased to a five mile radius by the Unite union.

Greenpeace are concerned with possible wider implications of the gas leak in the North Sea.

Total Oil Company owns the platform and claim the leak has not been caused by human error. The company believe the leak is coming from a rock formation above the main reservoir, at a depth of 4,000m.

It has been regarded too dangerous for anyone to return to extinush the blaze but the company claim there is no danger of the flare igniting the gas cloud beneath the rig.

Total has been evaluating the sitution by fly-overs in the area and are currently considering drilling a relief well which could take months.

Strikes Continuing

By Stewart Primrose

A deal to end the wildcat strikes has been rejected by workers at the oil refinery in Lincolnshire.

The offer from employers Total was to recruit around 28% of its workforce from the UK, however, this offer has been dismissed by Union leaders. Talks are set to continue throughout today and both sides hope for a solution.

BBC’s Danny Savage, who is at the site said: “As things stand this protest continues, this dispute is not over.”

Workers are concerned that the sub-contractor, IREM,  is looking to save money

by only using foreign workers. The protests are expected to continue across the UK . The workers have stated that

they want proof the migrant workers are on the same pay and conditions as themselves. French contractor, Total, have maintained this is this case.

Derek Simpson, Joint General Secretary of Unite feels that even if the dispute is solved there may be future problems with this situation.  “Even if this dispute is settled [there is] still a major problem about how these foreign companies, who win contracts and come complete with a workforce, are going to create other difficulties.

“It will occur again, and I’m sure it will occur in other countries as well unless there’s a realisation that you can’t just

Protesters

Protesters

use the freedom of labour to the exclusion of indigenous labour.”

The conflict originally began a week ago in North Killingholme, in North Lincolnshire. A contract for work to expand

 the refinery was given to IREM, who wish to use foreign workers. Total claim it is not discriminating and the decision to award the contract was a fair one.

Protests have spread to many sites in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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