Shell fined over safety lapses in Singapore refinery fire

29 October 2012 14:38  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Anglo-Dutch energy major Shell has been fined Singapore dollar (S$) 80,000 ($65,573) for its role in a fire that broke out at the company's Pulau Bukom oil refinery in September last year, the country's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Monday.

"Earlier, on 9 October 2012, the company had pleaded guilty to failing in its duty as an occupier to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety of persons at its workplace under the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act," the ministry said in a statement.

This lead to the largest refinery fire in Singapore since 1988, the MOM said.

A fire at a pumphouse at the 500,000 bbl/day refinery on 28 September 2011 escalated with multiple explosions. The blaze was fully extinguished after 32 hours.

Investigations by the MOM showed that the fire started in the course of the open de-oiling of naphtha from a pipeline that ran through a pump house at the refinery, it said.

"The investigations determined that Shell had not ensured the safety of the open system of de-oiling of naphtha and its process," the MOM added.

“We respect the decision of the Court. Safety is a top priority for Shell,” a Shell spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.

“We regret this incident and are thankful that no one was seriously injured. We are applying the learnings to avoid such an occurrence in future,” the spokesperson added.

($1 = S$1.22)

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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