Energy Review 09-2019

01 October 2019

One could say that Autumn in the northern hemisphere is not starting quietly. On one side, Russia–Ukraine tensions seem to be cooling down and China may have come to an agreement with Taiwan over territory dispute. On the other side, President Donald Trump has announced his intention to support the US–Saudi ally against whoever may have been behind the drone attacks on two major Saudi oil facilities, an incident which has cut global oil supplies by 5% and made the prices soar. Israeli and Iranian skirmishes, although not attracting large media attention, reveal another side to the very active tensions in the Middle East.

For more than a week Hurricane Dorian has devastated islands in the Caribbean. Barbados and Saint Lucia didn’t realise that they were relatively lucky when a Category 1 hurricane hit, some reports of damage mention several hundred thousand dollars. But then Dorian became a Category 5 and the Bahamas was hit for more than 24 hours with winds exceeding 185 mph. It is feared that the death toll will be staggering and there are estimates that the total cost of the catastrophe could exceed US$7 billion, including damages to oil-related facilities. Charity workers and aid organisations report chilling scenes of destruction and it will take years before families and businesses get over the traumatic experience Dorian has caused.

The ongoing saga of Brexit in the UK continues with the possibility of a no-deal becoming a more and more realistic though disputed scenario, with the situation on the Northern Ireland / Eire Border still unresolved.

A worrying item of insurance news is that as much as £61 billion (US$75 billion) of business is shifting to rival financial centres in the European Union as a consequence of Britain’s aim to leave the bloc. And it is happening regardless of the divorce terms which have yet to be decided upon. Generally speaking, though, markets are stable as the pre-renewal season approaches. There is quite a bit of M&A activity, especially among brokers.

Pioneer, MS Amlin, Fidelis, Chaucer and Liberty Special Markets have all drawn in extra talent and the energy insurance segment looks in pretty good shape.

We hope that our readers have enjoyed the summer and are looking forward to the coming months with enthusiasm. We also hope to help you with your insurance and risk management needs and requirements.

Energy Casualties

Equinor’s Bahamas oil terminal damaged by Hurricane Dorian – all workers safe

Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor’s oil storage terminal in the Bahamas was damaged by Hurricane Dorian.

Tropical Cyclone Dorian passed over the Abaco islands (northern Bahamas) on 1st September as a Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 295 km/h. On 2nd September at 03:00 UTC, its centre was over Grand Bahama Island with maximum sustained winds of 285 km/h.

As per the UN reports, at least 20 fatalities have been reported in the Bahamas, 17 in the Abacos and three in Grand Bahama. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), more than 76,000 people were affected and are in need of immediate humanitarian relief.

In a statement on 5th September, Equinor expressed concern by the reports of widespread devastation coming from the Bahamas in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Equinor operates the South Riding Point oil storage at Grand Bahama and had 54 personnel there ahead of the arrival of the hurricane.

Equinor said on 5th September: “All Equinor personnel in the Bahamas are now confirmed safe and accounted for. The safety and well-being of our personnel, their families, and the local environment is our first priority.”

“The employees had worked at the South Riding Point oil storage terminal up until the precautionary shutdown on the 31st August. It has taken some time due to the difficult communications conditions, but we have now succeeded in establishing contact with all of them,” Equinor said.

Terminal damaged, oil spills

“Our personnel are all still facing a tough road ahead due to the devastation the hurricane has caused on the islands. Our initial aerial assessment of the South Riding Point facility has found that the terminal has sustained damage and oil has been observed on the ground outside of the onshore tanks. It is too early to indicate any volumes. At this point there are no observations of any oil spill at sea,” the Norwegian firm added.

According to Equinor, the company had mobilised oil spill response resources and they would arrive at South Riding Point “as soon as possible”.

“None of our personnel were at the terminal when the hurricane took place…While weather conditions on the island have improved, road conditions and flooding continue to impact our ability to assess the situation and the scope of damages to the terminal and its surroundings.

“We will come back with more updates as soon as we are able to gain access to the terminal area and verify information,” the Norwegian firm said.

According to a UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report on 5th September, Hurricane Dorian had passed 140-150 kilometres east of Florida on 4th September, as a Category 2 hurricane.

On 5th September, at 03:00 UTC, its centre was 155 kilometres east of Georgia’s central coast, with maximum sustained winds of 185 km/h (Category 3 hurricane).

Heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge are affecting the coast of central Florida, and north and central South Carolina.

On 4th September, the Bahamas requested assistance through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism to respond to Dorian, which has devastated the country, the UN OCHA has informed.

It has said that the hurricane would continue north-northeast, off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, as a Category 3 hurricane before turning north-east on 6th September, weakening slightly as it approaches the North Carolina coast as a Category 2 hurricane.

Crack in FPSO hull causes oil spill offshore Brazil

Japanese FPSO provider MODEC has reported an oil spill from an FPSO located on the Petrobras-operated Espadarte field offshore Brazil.

On Friday 23rd August, MODEC informed Petrobras that, after an inspection at the external tanks, cracks were identified at the hull of FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, at the Espadarte field, in the Campos Basin, 130 kilometres off the coast of Brazil.

According to MODEC’s statement on 27th August, during the previous weekend, 1.2 cubic metres of residual oil leaked from the unit, which was identified and recovered.

On 26th August, in a new overflight, the presence of oil at sea was perceived, in an estimated amount of 6.6 cubic metres.

Seven vessels were at location in charge of recovery and dispersion, aside from four support vessels and one chopper for overflights.

The increase on the extension of the cracks was identified since the beginning of the event, yet the vessel continued to be with stable positioning and safe conditions, under permanent monitoring of MODEC and Petrobras, the FPSO operator stated.

FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro has been out of production since last year and in the departure procedure from Espadarte location.

All crew members were disembarked over the period between 24th and 26th August 2019 and arrived safely at shore.

Oil tanker catches fire at Equinor’s Sture terminal

Norwegian oil company Equinor’s emergency response centre received reports of a fire in the engine room of the tanker Dubai Harmony on Friday 13th September. The ship was moored at the quayside at the Sture terminal in Øygarden Municipality in Hordaland, Norway.

The public emergency rescue service and authorities have been notified of the situation, and Equinor’s emergency response organisation is assisting on site, Equinor reported.

According to the company, the ship’s captain reported that all 23 people aboard the ship have been accounted for. There were 102 people at the Sture terminal when the incident occurred. Personnel who do not have emergency tasks have been evacuated from the terminal as a precautionary measure.

Equinor added that 22 people with emergency preparedness duties are now at the terminal.

“The emergency response organization in Equinor will maintain continuous contact with the public rescue service and other relevant authorities, and we refer to the local Police for further information,” Equinor said.

The Sture terminal receives crude oil from the Oseberg area through the 115-kilometre Oseberg transport system (OTS) from Oseberg field centre, and crude oil from the Grane field through the 212-kilometre Grane oil pipeline (GOP).

Barge collapse in Tennessee River leads to oil spill

Officials in Chattanooga say a truck and crane sank to the bottom of the Tennessee River when the barge they were sitting on collapsed.

News outlets report the crane was mounted on the truck which fell into the river when the barge collapsed on 27th August.

Hazmat crews deployed booms to contain oil which leaked from the truck into the water.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Crystal Springs Builders owner Tony Carter owns the truck. The barge flipped over at the same dock three years ago, sending the truck and its crane into the river.

And one of Carter’s trucks sank to the bottom of Harrison Bay in 2015.

Bonterra continues residual clean-up after severed Alberta line

Bonterra Energy Corporation has confirmed that the emergency phase, which had been initiated immediately after identification of the release of emulsion related to a severed pipeline, has been de-escalated by both the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and Bonterra.

The damage occurred on 15th August after flooding 25 kilometres south-west of Drayton Valley, Alberta, caused a creek bank to collapse.

The company deployed all possible resources with 24-hour clean-up and remediation and has recovered all of the bulk oil released.

Over the following two to three weeks, Bonterra continued to perform shoreline remediation and clean-up to remove residual trace amounts, along with further monitoring and testing of the immediately impacted area.

Another oil spill at Hibernia platform offshore Canada

Another oil spill has occurred aboard the HMDC-operated Hibernia platform in the Atlantic Ocean offshore Canada, just days after regulators gave approval for HMDC to resume production which had been shut following the July oil spill.

On 15th August the offshore regulator issued approval to Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) to resume production operations at the Hibernia platform.

However, on 18th August, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) said there had been another discharge – 2,184 litres of oil – over the weekend.

“Shortly after 21:00 on Saturday 17th August 2019, the C-NLOPB was notified of an incident at the Hibernia platform where, as a result of the loss of main power generation, the facility experienced a discharge to sea when its deluge system inadvertently activated, causing drains to overflow. HMDC has confirmed that there were no issues regarding the safety of offshore personnel, and production operations were safely halted following the incident,” the C-NLOPB said.

Based on results of an overflight of the area at first light on Sunday 18th August with Canadian Coast Guard personnel on board, the estimated volume of oil on the water was 2,184 litres at that time.

The slick was located south of the Hibernia platform, with approximate dimensions 4.0 Nautical miles long by 1.0 Nautical mile wide, the C-NLOPB said.

According to the regulator, three vessels were currently on the site undertaking spill response efforts on 18th August, “with additional resources in the air and a fourth vessel en route.”

A tracker buoy has been deployed and wildlife monitoring efforts are underway, with no reports of affected wildlife at this point, the regulator informed on 18thAugust.

Frequency of incidents ‘concerning’

“It is not known at this point whether there is any connection between the loss of power and the discharge on 17th August and the restart of production operations on 15th August.

“The C-NLOPB will consider this as part of its regulatory oversight,” the regulator added.

“The nature and frequency of these incidents in our offshore area are obviously concerning,” said Scott Tessier, CEO of the C-NLOPB.

“The C-NLOPB is focusing its efforts on driving enhanced operator performance with respect to the prevention of spills and improvements in compliance. Decisions on enforcement actions in these matters will follow the completion of our investigations under the Atlantic Accord Implementation Acts.”

It is worth noting that this is the smallest of the three reported recent discharges. The July spill from Hibernia was estimated at around 12,000 litres of oil. Back in November, Husky accidentally spilled 250,000 litres at the White Rose offshore field, Newfoundland and Labrador’s biggest ever oil spill.

As for the latest spill, the C-NLOPB said it was sending personnel offshore to Hibernia and that next steps in response to the incident on 17th August would be determined once more information is available.

“Production operations are not to resume at Hibernia without the approval of the C-NLOPB. The C-NLOPB’s investigations into the November 2018 spill by Husky Energy at the White Rose Field and the July 2019 spill at the Hibernia platform continue, the regulator said,” the C-NLOPB added.

Insurance News

Brexit is moving £61 billion in London insurance business to rival financial centres

London’s outsized role in the global insurance industry is being whittled down by Brexit.

As much as £61 billion (US$75 billion) of business is shifting to rival financial centres in the European Union as a consequence of Britain’s vote to leave the bloc. And it is happening regardless of the divorce terms.

The EU’s insurance and pensions regulator has ordered every UK-based underwriter to transfer policies held by European clients to units on the continent. While the bulk of those total liabilities – the potential pay-out of all the policies, an industry gauge of scale – has moved or is moving to Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland and elsewhere, about £5 billion will still be in Britain if Brexit happens on 31st October, according to the Bank of England’s Financial Stability Report in July.

Lloyd’s, the world’s biggest insurance market, stands out as a laggard: About £3 billion is in policies written there over the 25 years before it opened a Brussels subsidiary at the beginning of 2019.

If Britain leaves the EU without a comprehensive agreement, Lloyd’s would not be able to guarantee that it could legally pay claims on those European policies. The institution says they will all be transferred to the continent by 31st October 2020.

A Lloyd’s spokesperson said EU member states have measures in place to ensure that 90% of the policies can pay out even after a disorderly Brexit. And Lloyd’s has told its syndicates – the insurers who underwrite policies on its trading floor – to honour all claims for continental clients following a no-deal divorce.

The longer-term impact of the shift will be both practical and symbolic, and it matters because London still accounts for as much as one-tenth of the world’s insurance and reinsurance market.

Brexit has been chipping away at that role, and the decline could steepen.

A chaotic departure from the EU is looking more likely after Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth to suspend Parliament until mid-October, making it harder for opposition politicians to block a no-deal Brexit. That prospect has convulsed the pound: The currency has weakened more than 8% against the dollar since its mid-March peak, when an accommodation with the EU seemed more likely.

European bases

Most UK insurance companies moved their European business to EU countries earlier this year, ready for the original Brexit date of 29th March.

Admiral Group plc, for example, chose Madrid: Chief Financial Officer Geraint Jones said the firm spent £4 million to £5 million transferring policies into a new unit there.

Insurance companies who have yet to move their European business from the UK need explicit permission from authorities in each of the 27 other EU countries to service clients there. Absent those approvals, the insurers cannot legally pay claims or provide other services.

A spokesperson for the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority said the regulator would provide a country-by-country update soon.

Costs and pitfalls are likely down the road. National regulators will not allow insurers to use their European subsidiaries merely as letterboxes; those offices will need to be staffed and run as substantial operations.

“There’s a tension, because a lot of the expertise in writing that business still resides in London,” Hilary Evenett, a partner at Clifford Chance LLP, said.

“Over the years, you can also anticipate that other countries are going to develop that expertise locally.” In the future, she said, “it’s not certain how much expertise will be here and how much will be on the continent.”

The UK also faces a loss of tax revenue: The government collects an insurance premium tax on every policy. Following Brexit, that revenue will go to EU countries.

As with so much to do with Brexit, uncertainty is unnerving.

“There’s a huge amount of expertise and infrastructure around the London market which one might expect to diminish in relative importance over time, but London should still remain the pre-eminent centre for insurance for the time being,” said Duncan Barber, a partner at Linklaters LLP.

Argo’s Syndicate 1200 withdraws from Asia and hull

ArgoGlobal, the Lloyd’s insurer and member of Argo Group, announced plans to exit Syndicate 1200’s underwriting operations in Asia and most of its hull underwriting business within the syndicate.

All existing policies remain valid and the company will manage claims handling through its London operation.

The Asia business accounted for less than 3% of Syndicate 1200’s gross written premium in 2018.

These announcements have no impact on Argo Group’s Ariel Re Syndicate 1910 business, including its growing Hong Kong-based renewable energy business.

ArgoGlobal is the trading brand of Syndicate 1200 at Lloyd’s, managed by Argo Managing Agency Ltd.

Labuan and Swiss Re partner on event to drive captives in Asia

More companies across Asia are open to the idea of using captives, according to officials from the Labuan Financial Services Association and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.

The pair recently held an event at the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (IBFC) in Kuala Lumpur called ‘Adding Confidence to Captives: Managing Volatility via Self Insurance’.

“Risk management in the form of self-insurance or captives is on the rise, due to it being an overall cost-efficient and customisable risk mitigating tool,” said Danial Mah, Director General, Labuan Financial Services Association.

Mr Mah pointed out that captives have gained widespread acceptance around the world including international standard setting bodies. “Asia in particular has shown tremendous potential for growth in captives over the coming years,” added Mah. Earlier this year, rating agency AM Best stated that it expects to see a significant growth in the Asia Pacific domiciles for captives, including the Labuan IBFC.

Mr Mah said that captives remain a vital business segment in the Labuan IBFC, being the leading jurisdiction in Asia for captive formations compared to other jurisdictions in the region such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

In 2019, January to June 2019, four new captives were approved in the Labuan IBFC, totalling 51 captives registered in the jurisdiction as of June 2019. This represents a growth of 8.5% year on year and is significant when contrasted with the fact that, for the whole of 2018, six captives were approved.

“In terms of gross written premiums, Labuan’s captive insurance business increased by 12.8% to US$288 million in June 2019, compared with US$255 million of the same period in 2018,” Mr Mah said, adding that most of the premiums are of Asian origins, particularly from Indonesia and Japan.

In contrast for the whole of 2018, the Labuan IBFC recorded an 11% growth in total gross premiums for its captive insurance business amounting to US$400.5 million.

He attributes the steady growth momentum of Labuan captives to the growing awareness around the benefits of captives in Asia. Other reasons include changes in the international tax landscape, which have prompted companies looking for alternative jurisdictions to re-domicile their captives to ensure tax compliance, which requires amongst others for captives to have substantive presence in domiciles from which they operate.

Andre Martin, Head of Innovative Risk Solutions APAC, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, added it was great to share more on the benefits captives can bring to organisations as a comprehensive risk financing strategy. “Today we see a rise in demand for captive insurance across the region including Malaysia and expect this to increase as the risk management function advances and the corporate landscape evolves,” he said.

“We look forward to continue working with customers to provide solutions in the captive space and are encouraged by the interest in alternative risk transfer solutions from this event.”

Mr Mah added: “Captive prospects will always be facilitated by our intermediaries and Labuan FSA for their substance compliance. We will continue to facilitate business development, ease of conducting business and support market innovation, in particular the captive business to ensure it remains relevant.”

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions stops writing cargo as marine retrenchment gets underway

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions (SRCS) has stopped accepting cargo business, following its publication revealing the carrier planned to withdraw from writing the class on 1st August.

Standard Club update on piracy and armed robbery in West Africa

The club has noticed a worrying trend of an increase in acts of piracy and armed robbery occurring in West Africa, in particular in the Gulf of Guinea.

In its report from January to June 2019, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that, globally, 78 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported compared with 107 for the same period in 2018.

However, although the number of reported incidents were down globally, the Gulf of Guinea region accounted for 43% of the reported incidents, 73% of the reported global kidnappings and 92% of the reported global hostages taken.

As such, the IMB views the Gulf of Guinea as the highest risk area for seafarers and urge shipowners and operators to “remain vigilant and report all suspicious activity to regional response centres and the IMB.”

BP North America fined US$71K for 2018 diesel fuel spill in Iowa

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said BP North America must pay a fine of more than US$71,000 for a diesel spill last year in north-east Iowa.

The EPA said the fine is for violations of the Clean Water Act.

BP owns a 2.5 million-gallon fuel storage tank at Peosta which leaked about 60,000 gallons of fuel onto the ground and into the South Fork of Catfish Creek in August 2018.

The EPA said it is requiring BP to upgrade the secondary containment system at the site to prevent future environmental contamination.

The EPA said it coordinated the investigation and plans for upgrades with the Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The EPA anticipates the upgrade to be completed within six months.

2015 North Dakota liquid gas spill much bigger than reported

A 2015 pipeline spill of liquid natural gas in western North Dakota, initially reported as just ten gallons, was at least hundreds of thousands of gallons larger and may take another decade to clean up, state health officials said.

Oklahoma-based ONEOK Partners LP reported the ten-gallon spill of natural gas liquids, or “condensate,” from a pipeline at its Garden Creek gas plant near Watford City in July 2015.

A report by the North Dakota Health Department said, “ground around the pipe was saturated with natural gas condensate of an unknown volume.”

State Environmental Quality Chief Dave Glatt said the company reported last October that it had recovered 240,000 gallons of the liquid gas and that clean-up was ongoing.

“It’s contained on site and we will continue to work with the company to make sure it’s cleaned up,” Mr Glatt said.

But the Health Department never updated its report to reflect the severity of the spill. Mr Glatt said doing so was not required and would have been “just wild guesses anyway.”

The larger-than-reported size of the spill was first reported by DeSmog, a blog dedicated to fighting climate change scepticism, which reported that the spill could be as large as 11 million gallons.

The blog cited an unnamed person who provided a draft document on a clean-up plan. The spill could be as large as the Exxon Valdez disaster, which released 11 million gallons (50 million litres) of crude.

ONEOK said in a statement that the document was done by a consultant “as part of their design process to address the release”. The company said the actual amounts of the release are not known.

“The volume estimates included in the document were hypothetical assumptions and were used solely as a basis for the vendor’s equipment design to complete the response action efforts,” the company said.

ONEOK said the release was caused by “hairline cracks” in a two-inch-wide underground pipe at the facility. Regulators do not know how long the line had been leaking, but they said it was repaired immediately after being discovered.

“Repairs and modifications have been made to help ensure that another release does not occur,” the statement said. “Due to the below ground nature of the release, it is impossible to determine the actual volume released with any level of certainty or accuracy.”

State environmental scientist Bill Suess visited the site the on 27th August, the day after the blog post appeared. He estimated the affected area to be about 240,000 square feet.

Mr Suess said some groundwater was affected at the site, but the spill did not reach beyond the facility’s boundaries.

The site could not be excavated due to extensive piping beneath the natural gas factory, Mr Suess said. Instead, the company is drilling “bore holes” to recover the liquid natural gas, which tends to evaporate when exposed to air.

Mr Suess estimated the clean-up could take “another five to ten years”.

The ONEOK plant was competed in 2012. It processes gas from western North Dakota’s oil patch into products such as methane, propane, butane, ethane and natural gasoline, which is piped to out-of-state markets, the company said.

Investigation into Snorre B fire reveals safety breaches

The Norwegian offshore safety agency, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), has completed its investigation of an incident on the Snorre B platform in the North Sea on 1st May 2019, where a fire broke out in the inlet separator. The agency has identified several breaches of the regulations.

Since the fire broke out the day before the start of a planned turnaround, the process plant was depressurised, drained and purged with inert gas, the PSA revealed on 26th August.

One of the turnaround activities involved replacing the inlet separator’s internals. The fire started in connection with preparatory activities ahead of entering the separator.

Rough cleaning of the separator had been completed and it was being vented when the incident occurred. Analyses of the separator contents after the fire revealed the presence of iron sulphide.

Spontaneous combustion as cause

The PSA team’s view is that the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion of iron sulphide in contact with the air, which then ignited oil deposits remaining in the separator.

It emerged from the investigation that iron sulphide was not known to be present in the separator nor did anyone know about the problem posed by pyrophoric iron sulphide.

No measures for handling this as a potential ignition source had therefore been assessed or implemented.


The actual consequence of the incident was a fire lasting for about three hours in the inlet separator on Snorre B. Subsequent analyses show that the integrity of the actual separator had not been weakened by the fire.

No personal injuries were suffered in connection with the incident.

The wind direction was favourable for avoiding smoke exposure.

Where potential consequences are concerned, the fire was unlikely to spread beyond the separator. The process plant had been depressurised and drained in connection with the turnaround, and no other flammable materials were in the vicinity.

However, the incident could have had more serious consequences had the fire broken out when personnel were inside the separator or the wind direction was more unfavourable, so that exposure to smoke could have been greater.

No assessment had been made of the waste as a potential ignition source, with no special measures therefore implemented to prevent spontaneous combustion when handling or transporting it.

However, it emerged from interviews that this material was treated as low radioactive (LRA) waste, which means it is kept moist, and thereby also indirectly prevented the iron sulphide in the waste from igniting.

The team therefore considers it unlikely that handling of the waste could have resulted in a fire elsewhere on the platform.


The investigation has identified three non-conformities related to risk assessment before starting the activity; experience transfer; and procedures.

Namely, the PSA says that it was not sufficiently ensured that important risk contributors were kept under control while planning and implementing activities for rough cleaning.

Furthermore, no assessments were made as to whether iron sulphide could be present and thus no measures were undertaken to prevent self-ignition in connection with venting.

In addition, there was a lack of knowledge that iron sulphide could be a pyrophoric compound.

Analysis results from hydro-cyclone downstream inlet separator deposits showed the presence of iron sulphide, but this was not addressed further in planning this job.

The waste from the cleaning process was not handled according to requirements for waste that may contain iron sulphide.

Equinor has been asked to explain how these non-conformities will be handled. The deadline for its response was set for 20th September 2019.

Equinor is the operator of the Snorre field, which consists of the Snorre A and Snorre B platforms. The Snorre B platform came on stream in June 2001. This semi-submersible PDQ floater lies about seven kilometres north of the A platform.

Oil from Snorre B is piped for 45 kilometres to Statfjord B for storage and export.

Part of the gas is injected back into the reservoir, while the rest is transported by pipeline via Snorre A on to continental Europe through the Statpipe system and to St Fergus, Scotland, through the Tampen link pipeline.

Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline sues contractor over Alabama spill

Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline Company has sued an Alabama contractor over a spill which threatened gasoline supplies along the East Coast three years ago.

The pipeline operator contends faulty work by the Birmingham-based CECO Pipeline Services caused a crack which spilled at least 250,000 gallons of gasoline in rural Shelby County in September 2016.

The spill shut down a major pipeline for weeks, tightening gasoline supplies along the Eastern Seaboard. The pipeline carries fuel from Houston to metropolitan New York.

With headquarters near Atlanta in Alpharetta, Colonial Pipeline filed the federal lawsuit on 17th August seeking an unspecified amount of money.

Hired to replace coatings that protect the pipeline’s exterior, the contractor failed to adequately replace dirt around the pipeline after maintenance work, the suit said. The failure left a void beneath the pipe, which bent as it sagged. The bend caused cracks which led to the breach, according to the suit.

The failure cost Colonial Pipeline lost income, plus money spent on repairs and clean-up, the lawsuit said without specifying an amount.

The lawsuit said Colonial Pipeline transports an average of 100 million gallons (378 million litres) of refined petroleum products daily through a system which includes more than 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometres) of pipeline.

ExxonMobil pays $40,000 fine for near miss incident off Nova Scotia

ExxonMobil has been fined US$40,000 for a potentially fatal near-miss incident which happened in November 2018 aboard a jack-up rig offshore Nova Scotia.

The incident happened during lifting operations involving a utility winch on the drill floor of the Noble Regina Allen jack-up rig while adjacent to the Venture platform.

Due to the failure of a 4-part shackle, lifting-arrangement equipment with a total weight of approximately 225 pounds dropped approximately 58 feet while employees were in the process of disconnecting a load.

The dropped lifting-arrangement equipment fell approximately one foot away from an employee. Nobody was injured by the incident, which was classified as a near-miss with a potential for a fatality.

In a statement, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) said the equipment used in a lifting operation which took place on the Noble Regina Allen drilling unit under contract to ExxonMobil had not been maintained and operated in a manner which would have prevented the incident.

“The CNSOPB determined that this violation should be subject to an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) of US$40,000. A Notice of Violation (NOV) was issued to ExxonMobil on 12th July 2019. The AMP was paid by ExxonMobil on 12th August 2019,” the CNSOPB said.

People on the Move

AXA XL names Steven Farr Global Head of Upstream Energy

AXA XL Insurance has announced the promotion of Steven Farr as Global Head of Upstream Energy, effective immediately.

Based in London, Farr will head the insurer’s global upstream energy team and develop its upstream energy book, while expanding on and delivering underwriting strategy and product profitability, a statement from AXA XL said.

Pioneer expands renewables practice with Bishop hire

MGA Pioneer Underwriters has hired Sam Bishop as an underwriter in its renewable energy team.

MS Amlin names Beazley as Head of Reinsurance, replacing Few who joins TigerRisk

Global re/insurer MS Amlin announced that Chris Beazley, CEO of MS Amlin AG, will be expanding his leadership role to include all of MS Amlin’s reinsurance business with immediate effect. Mr Beazley takes over the responsibilities from James Few, Global Managing Director, of MS Amlin’s reinsurance division.

Mr Few is stepping down from his role to join TigerRisk Partners, a privately held reinsurance broker, as CEO of its London office. He will report to Rob Bredahl, TigerRisk’s President and COO.

In his expanded role at MS Amlin, Mr Beazley will take sole responsibility for setting the strategy of the group’s reinsurance business and be supported by Dominic Peters, Chief Underwriting Officer, and Phil Wooldridge as reinsurance lead and joint active underwriter for MSAUL, the group’s Lloyd’s platform.

Since joining MS Amlin in 2007, Mr Beazley has undertaken senior roles within the London marine and reinsurance businesses, launched MS Amlin’s operations in Singapore and acted as head of Global Clients and Strategy for MS Amlin’s Reinsurance SBU. In 2016 he served a two-year secondment as CEO of the London Market Group (LMG).

Joining MS Amlin in 2015, Mr Few drove the evolution of the global reinsurance offering, said TigerRisk in a statement. As the company’s Global Managing Director of Reinsurance, Mr Few led the modernisation of the company’s global reinsurance business, developed pricing and product innovations, and extended partnerships with third-party capital.

Fidelis hires former Brit underwriter Clarkson to build marine book

Fidelis has brought Bob Clarkson on board to join its London-based underwriting operation – as the insurer looks to diversify into marine – after it was revealed he would be leaving Brit Insurance last May.

Chaucer appoints new head of Copenhagen

Specialty re/insurer Chaucer has appointed Johnny Bøgelund as the new Head of Chaucer Copenhagen, replacing Gero Michel who has stepped down from the role.

Liberty unveils new Bermuda property leader

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has promoted Nicholas Garside to the role of Head of Bermuda Property.

Reporting to Steve Horton, President, Liberty Specialty Markets Bermuda, Mr Garside took up his new role on 1st September in Hamilton.

He was previously working at Ironshore.

Allianz unveils new London markets manager

Allianz Insurance has appointed Alastair Warren-Upham as new London Markets Manager, following the retirement of Martyn Davenport.

Click here to download a PDF version

Latest News

See More News