Buzzard Galaxy III platforms nexen

Nexen’s Buzzard Platform: Damage Unknown to Largest Producer of Forties Crude After Weekend Fire

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April 23, 2012

LONDON (Dow Jones)–U.K. offshore safety inspectors are investigating reports of a fire on Nexen Inc.’s (NXY) Buzzard North Sea platform over the weekend, a spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said Monday.

The HSE was informed of the incident Saturday. The fire was extinguished and all personnel were accounted for.

“HSE is aware and will be investigating,” said a spokesman.

The incident occurred on the Buzzard production sweetening platform, which is linked by a bridge to the main Buzzard facility.

The extent of any damage isn’t yet known, nor whether the fire has resulted in any loss of production at the 200,000 barrels-a-day Buzzard field, which feeds the main Forties pipeline system. North Sea crude traders said they haven’t noticed a fall in Forties output, but didn’t exclude further deferrals or cancellations of Forties cargoes.

Buzzard is the largest field contributing to the Forties crude stream, the main component of global benchmark Brent.

Operator Nexen was unavailable for comment early Monday, while joint venture partner BG Group PLC (BG.LN) wasn’t immediately able to confirm details of the incident.

The incident comes amid renewed scrutiny of safety in the North Sea, one of the world’s older hydrocarbon basins with many installations nearing the end of their productive lives.

French oil major Total SA (TOT) is still battling to contain gas that has been leaking for nearly a month at its Elgin platform in the U.K. North Sea.

-By Alexis Flynn, Dow Jones Newswires, Konstantin Rozhnov contributed to this report.

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