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  • University of Liverpool chemical explosion injures researcher

    04 March 2015

    An academic researcher has been injured in an explosion at a chemistry laboratory at the University of Liverpool in north west England. A university spokesman said an investigation had been launched to try to identify what caused the blast. The area outside was cordoned off by police. Paramedics and fire crews, including a specialist HazMat team, were called to the laboratory after the incident....

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  • Thirty two killed In Ukraine mine explosion, 70 more trapped underground

    04 March 2015

    There were conflicting reports over the number of casualties in a Ukraine coal mine on March 4, but Vladimir Groysman, Ukraine’s parliament speaker, told MPs that 32 miners had been killed in an coal mine explosion near rebel-held Donetsk. The blast took place at the Zasyadko mine in the Donbas coal field and emergency services have launched a rescue attempt to reach 70 more miners who are trapped underground....

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  • Ohio sues BP alleging false claims for cleanup money

    03 March 2015

    State officials have filed suit against BP, claiming the oil major wrongfully collected more than $33 million in state reimbursements to clean up storage tank leaks, the state’s Attorney General's office announced on March 2. The suit alleges that BP got the money after falsely telling the state that it had no insurance for the leaks....

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  • Union strike over US refinery safety enters second month

    03 March 2015

    The largest US refinery strike since 1980 continued through its 31st day on March 3 with no immediate prospect of resolution, although negotiations between the USW union and lead oil company negotiator Shell Oil are due to resume on March 4. The strike has resulted in a walkout by 6,550 union workers at 15 plants, including 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of US domestic capacity....

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  • Alaska oil pipeline leak contaminates North Slope site

    03 March 2015

    Investigators are reviewing the cause of an oil production pipeline breach on Alaska's North Slope where upwards of 15,100 litres of fluid spilled, state officials said on March 1. The production facility is jointly owned by Hilcorp and BP Alaska, and is operated by Hilcorp, which took over operations from BP in November when that company sold off some of its Alaska assets....

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Netherlands government apologises for gas field earthquakes 03 March 2015

The government of the Netherlands apologised on March 2 for ignoring risks posed by earthquakes caused by production of natural gas in the northern province of Groningen. The apology follows a February 18 report by the country's independent Safety Board that found that the government, together with Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon, had put profits before safety in exploiting the Groningen gas field....

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Wyoming explosives plant fire injures three 27 February 2015

Wyoming Department of Workforce Services spokeswoman Hayley McKee said on February 27 that three employees were being treated for burns after a fire at the Dyno Nobel plant in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the previous day. McKee said the flash fire happened during work on a compressor system at the plant, which supplies explosives for the mining industry....

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Methane leak causes further evacuations near old well site in Alberta 26 February 2015

A total of 15 families have been asked to evacuate their homes for three weeks this summer in Calmar, 22 miles south west of Edmonton. Over this period, Imperial Oil will again try to plug an old oil well that is leaking methane gas, according to a report in the Edmonton Journal.There was a similar evacuation in 2013 when families also had to move out for three weeks and were found alternative accommodation by the oil company....

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Hazardex comes to Rotterdam **delegate places booking now - SPECIAL OFFERS** 26 February 2015

In June 2014, an explosion at the Shell chemical plant at Moerdijk in the southern Netherlands caused minor injuries to two staff and was heard 30km away, while the subsequent fire took more than 24 hours to extinguish. This was the second such incident in the locality in three years. In 2011, a blaze at the Chemie-Pack plant in Moerdijk produced a toxic cloud that spread over 20km....

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Mexico ammunition plant blast kills two 25 February 2015

Two workers were killed in an explosion at a shotgun cartridge and rifle shell manufacturing plant at Ahuatepec, a city in the central Mexican state of Morelos, emergency management officials said. A third employee at the Industrias Tecnos SA plant had burns to the whole of her body and was hospitalised....

Features

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Securing automation systems – a step by step approach

The big problem when it comes to security for automation systems is that there are no simple solutions. This makes it all the more helpful when communication technology experts give users a hand by providing guidelines. Here, Prof. Dr. Frithjof Klasen of PROFIBUS evaluates some of the threats facing automation systems and possible ways to improve robustness, as well as giving details of new security guidelines. ...

Case Studies

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Custody Metering for electricity generation

When the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) commissioned a new natural gas-powered electricity generation plant in Aweer, a key consideration when ordering the Diagnostic Performance and Monitoring (DPM) software was its Custody Metering capabilities – where the mass of the gas and its calorific value is measured as it is supplied from the linked offshore gas field....

Comment

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Cybersecurity and plant safety

Cybersecurity for process plant operators made it into the headlines at the end of 2014 following the announcement by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) that a cyberattack on one of the country’s steelworks had caused “massive damage”, wrecking a blast furnace at the un-named plant. At the same time, security investigators said they now consider the explosion of a Turkish oil pipeline in 2008 to have been caused by cyber-sabotage...

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