Norne oil discharge larger than thought

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 12 -- The Nov. 23 oil spill at Norne oil and gas field in the Norwegian Sea was larger than initially reported, said field operator Statoil ASA.

Statoil's calculations now show that about 2,140 bbl of oil, not 280 bbl, were discharged. The new estimate is based on data from incident logs aboard the Norne production and storage ship. The first estimate was "calculated according to the dimensions of the slick" based on aerial observations by Statoil and the Norwegian National Coastal Administration, Statoil said.

Preliminary findings indicate failure of facilities being shut down to allow modification to the production' vessel's process control system (OGJ Online, Nov. 28, 2005). The failure allowed oil to enter the system that treats produced water and to be discharged into the sea.

Bad weather prevented collection of the oil. The area was monitored by helicopter until Dec. 4. No oil has been observed on the surface since Nov. 24, and satellite pictures show no further indications of a spill.

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