Centrica response to AAIB report of the Morecambe helicopter crash

John Shears, Director of Upstream Production and Development, Centrica Energy, said:

"We welcome the full report made today by the Air Accident Investigation Branch into the Morecambe Bay helicopter crash of 27 December 2006. The memory of the loss of the seven men is still fresh for many of us.

"Ensuring the safety of our personnel is a core value of our company. We have done everything we can to assist with the investigation process, to ensure that the cause of this tragedy is fully understood and the Oil & Gas offshore industry as a whole will benefit from the findings and recommendations contained within this report. For the families and friends of those who died, and our employees we remain ever fully supportive.

"The investigation has concluded that the helicopter was certified, equipped and maintained in accordance with existing regulations and approved procedures. It also found that there was no evidence of any technical malfunction, and that the weather conditions where within the normal parameters and not unusual for such operations.

"Centrica, along with CHC Scotia, will work with the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that any further measures to increase safety of operations are adopted."

Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Centrica, added; "This report brings a period of uncertainty to an end for the families of the men who tragically died and the many employees who were their close friends and who continue to work offshore. We will continue to offer them our support and I can assure them we will implement any measures deemed appropriate by the Civil Aviation Authority. I am committed to ensuring continuing improvements in the safe operation of all of our operations, to ensure that everyone returns safely from every shift".