Strike action was expected to get underway today on a controversial oil production vessel which is due to arrive at Hunterston on Monday

The Petrojarl Foinaven is expected to get under tow today after 25 years of producing oil from the Foinaven field, 120 miles west of Shetland, for her client BP.

However, Unite the union has raised safety concerns for crew aboard the Foinaven Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO) with continuous strike action set to begin today. 

Vic Fraser, Unite industrial officer, said: “Unite has repeatedly sought assurances that Altera are clear on the actions that our members will be taking during the strike, and the effect this has on the Fionaven during tow.  

"We have asked Altera if they have contacted its client BP, the towing company Maersk, and all the regulators to ensure that they are also fully aware of the implications due to the strike action.” 

"We remain deeply concerned for the safety of the crew during the tow which is likely to involve around 50 people, for the Foinaven itself, the towing vessels and the wider environment should anything go wrong. Quite literally our members could be stranded at sea for days without any clear safety procedures in place. To date we have faced a wall of silence from Altera over these real concerns which is unacceptable and dangerous." 

Both Altera and BP have stressed their commitment to safety and said plans were in place to ensure the vessel’s safe removal. 

BP said safety was always its first priority.

A spokesperson said: “We continue to work closely with Altera and are satisfied with the plans in place for the safe removal of the Petrojarl Foinaven FPSO.”

Jim McSporran, director of Clydeport, said: "The Foinaven FPSO will be arriving into Hunterston on Monday 8 August and docking on the Deepwater Jetty.

"The vessel’s current owners will be removing leased and owned office equipment and some signage in order to facilitate the safe handover to its new owners.

"There is no contractual agreement or intention to take the vessel to the Construction Yard for any other marine works, this cannot and will not occur for this vessel.

"After this work is completed, the new owners will be planning to move the Foinaven to its next destination.

"Be reassured that, as a working port, Hunterston PARC continues to provide berths for different vessels and we comply fully with all relevant health, safety and environmental requirements."