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 the resulting oil and gas fires destroyed it on 6 July 1988, killing 167 men, with only 61 survivors. The death toll includes two crewmen of a rescue vessel. Total insured loss was about £1.7 billion (US$3.4 billion). At the time of the disaster, the platform accounted for approximately ten percent of North Sea oil and gas production, and was the worst offshore oil disaster in terms of lives lost and industry impact.