Shell Oil Questions North Sea Helicopter Safety

 - June 4, 2012, 4:00 PM

Shell Oil announced on May 31 that it is pulling the plug on plans to sign a multimillion-dollar deal with UK-based Bond Offshore Helicopters to provide transportation within the UK.

Shell cited safety worries following a May 10 incident in which Bond Super Puma made an emergency landing in the North Sea near Aberdeen, Scotland, after the failure of the lubricating system of the helicopter’s main gearbox. While the 12 passengers and two crew members aboard the helicopter were rescued without injuries, the incident was the third serious event for Bond Helicopters in the past three years.

The entire Bond helicopter fleet was grounded after the May ditching, but later returned to flying status after a fleet-wide safety inspection.