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Alabama chemical plant explosion kills one 26 September 2018

An explosion at an industrial chemical plant in Arab, northern Alabama, left one man dead and part of the facility damaged.  No other injuries were reported. The Umicore Specialty Chemicals Arab (ASCA) plant is focused on the production and distribution of cobalt, nickel and manganese salts.  Fire crews arrived shortly after the explosion was reported in the early afternoon of September 25....

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Huge North Dakota oil spill finally cleaned up after five years 24 September 2018

The clean-up of a 840,000 gallon (3.8 million litre) leak from a Tesoro Logistics oil pipeline which polluted a site in the heart of the Bakken Shale in 2013 some 10 miles northeast of Tioga, North Dakota, is now complete. Tesoro, now known as Andeavor, originally thought it could clean up the site in two years for about $4 million. It later estimated the cost at $93 million, and was fined $454,000 by the state....

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North Massachusetts house explosions throw spotlight on ageing gas pipes across the USA 24 September 2018

A series of explosions and fires in towns north of Boston on the evening of September 13, which killed one, injured 25 and left hundreds homeless, has been blamed on the overpressurisation of a gas main belonging to Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. But the focus has now shifted to ageing gas pipes across the USA that are prone to leaking and have been responsible for a number of fatal incidents....

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Novichok costs estimated at more than £150 million 21 September 2018

The overall financial cost of the Salisbury nerve agent poisonings is now well over £150 million, according to research conducted by life sciences firm The greater part of this figure comes from reduced tourist income and loss of business to the local economy, with significant amounts also being spent on police and military involvement in the incident....

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Germany hosts first hydrogen-powered and electro-hybrid trains 21 September 2018

On September 16, trains equipped with fuel cells which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity started running on a 100km stretch of track running between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude in Lower Saxony. The Coradia iLint, built by Alstom in Salzgitter, Germany, is a low-noise, zero-emission train with a top speed of 140 km/h....

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Dust explosions reported in Minnesota and Texas 21 September 2018

On September 19, two workers were injured in an apparent dust explosion and fire in Minneapolis, Minnesota, local media reported. The Minneapolis Fire Department said that the explosion occurred in a metal dust collector at the Metal-Matic Inc. facility in the city, and that the victims received significant injuries during the incident....

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Shell announces methane emissions reduction target 19 September 2018

On September 17 Royal Dutch Shell plc announced a target to maintain methane emissions below 0.2% of its total oil and gas production by 2025, it said in a statement, joining BP, which last year set a similar goal. Exxon Mobil announced in May plans to reduce methane emissions by 15% by 2020....

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Belgian waste plant explosion kills one, raise questions over new Irish plant 18 September 2018

Belgian waster treatment company Indaver confirmed today that an accident occurred during the preparation of waste for treatment at its plant at Stabroek near Antwerp where liquid waste was being transferred from a tanker into a storage tank. The company said that one employee had been fatally injured and four others hospitalised with minor injuries after an explosion and fire at the site....

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Indian oil group to move LPG storage facility out of Mumbai for safety reasons 17 September 2018

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), India’s second largest public sector oil and gas group, has decided to move the LPG storage facility out of its Mumbai Mahul refinery complex. D Rajkumar, the chairman and managing director of BPCL, said the move was “for safety and commercial reasons". The new facility will be built near the town of Rasayani, about 50km south-east of Mumbai....

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Gulf of Mexico oil leak said to be worse than originally reported 17 September 2018

An article in the Wall Street Journal quotes a new US government study which estimates that up to 10 million gallons of oil a year are leaking into the Gulf of Mexico from wells abandoned by Taylor Energy after its rig on the site was destroyed by a hurricane in 2004. The spill has been the subject of ongoing litigation between US agencies and the company....


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Applying risk and consequence modelling knowledge from the oil and gas industry to urban energy projects

This year's 30th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster offers a timely opportunity to look back at the significant developments in risk and consequence software modelling, says David Price of Gexcon UK. The Public Inquiry into the accident, which claimed 167 lives, triggered increased attention in the assessment of risk from gas leaks and subsequent ignition leading to jet fire and explosion modelling....

Case Studies

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Risk and consequence modelling case study

The project involved a large residential development set in gardens with community facilities including cafes, restaurants, retail and leisure in a major UK city. Consultancy activities involved advising on DSEAR regulatory compliance in relation to an Energy Centre incorporated into the basement of a multi-use building....


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The Cinderella of the renewable energy sector

Just a few weeks after the UK government rejected plans for a £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, the French leader in tidal power, Naval Energies, also announced it was pulling out of the sector. The company was one of the few to have developed tidal turbine energy technology to the industrial launch stage. On 24 July, the company deployed a new 2MW tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy in Canada. ...

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