By Bad Seed
Part One: PIPER ALPHA DISASTER
Piper Alpha was a North Sea oil production platform operated by Occidental Petroleum (Caledonia) Ltd.
The platform began production in 1976, first as an oil platform and then later converted to gas production.
An explosion and resulting fire destroyed it on July 6, 1988, killing 167 men. Total insured loss was about £1.7 billion (US$ 3.4 billion). To date it is the world's worst offshore oil disaster in terms both of lives lost and impact to industry. At the time of the disaster the platform accounted for around ten percent of the oil and gas production from the North Sea.