BBC Disaster Series

Piper Alpha: Human Price of Oil training package

Piper Alpha Fire .JPG


In July 1988 a catastrophic explosion and fire on Piper Alpha, a North Sea Oil platform claimed 167 lives.

This program, made soon after the incident, looks at various factors that contributed to the disaster.

DVD Price: $595.00*

Duration: 40 minutes

Formats Available: DVD | Internet Licence | Corporate Licence

Download the Trainer's Guide

229 people were on board, and 165 were killed, plus 2 rescuers, totaling 167 fatalities. The rig itself was so severely damaged, it had to be demolished, with a legacy of toxic debris left on the sea-bed (still toxic in 2010). The company (Occidental) had to leave the North Sea oil fields. 1990’s cost of the disaster is estimated at around 1.7 billion pounds Sterling (about 3.4 billion US dollars).

Eyewitness accounts of the 35 survivors were fed to a Risk Analyst consultant to obtain likely causes. Theories included the lack of securing the advice of Risk Analysts in the commissioning of rigs. The differing designs of the Norwegian oil platforms show higher levels of safety.

Training Applications:

  • Safety design issues on oil platforms
  • Permit-to-work procedures
  • Emergency procedures
  • Safety and rescue systems
  • Management decision making – production output vs. safety considerations
  • Contractor and subcontractor issues
  • Training and accreditation issues
  • Handling and storage of dangerous goods
  • Communication techniques

Contents of the package:

Extensive support materials are supplied with  the DVD on CD:

  • Facilitator’s Guide, including Facilitator’s Checklist. The study guide contains a pre and post event analysis of the disaster
  • Facilitator’s Slide Guide
  • Participants’ Handouts and MS PowerPoint presentation.
  • BBC Disaster Series:
  • The 11-part BBC Disaster Series examines case studies of major disasters from around the world from various industries, such as oil and gas, transport, aviation, aeronautics and space, chemical manufacturing and hospitality.
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