An interim safety report says a failure to do annual maintenance inspections aboard the Deep Panuke offshore natural gas project was the root cause of an on-board electrical fire.

The report obtained by The Canadian Press says the project was supposed to undergo yearly tests to detect heat coming off electrical equipment and connections.

But the report said SBM Offshore, the Dutch-based owner of the offshore platform, did not carry out those tests prior to the January fire.

The report also said there were several instances of loose control wiring found in the equipment after the fire, along with connections that could cause significant temperature increases.

The report was submitted by Encana in collaboration with SBM Offshore to the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board.

SBM said in an email that "appropriate actions," have been taken to address the problem, and Encana said it has emphasized the importance of prevention to SBM.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze when it broke out aboard the platform located 250 kilometres southeast of Halifax.