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Statoil confirms cause of platform gas leak

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 8 -- Statoil ASA has confirmed that the cause of a Jan. 19 gas leak on the Visund platform in the North Sea was a design fault on a knock-out drum.

The company's investigation proved that a metal plate on the flare tank's outlet to the knock-out drum collapsed, damaging the flare piping. A portion of the deformed plate came loose and created a hole about 50 cm in diameter in the pipe.

As a precaution, Statoil has changed similar knock-out drum systems on the Kvitebjørn and Heidrun platforms (OGJ Online, Feb. 13, 2006).

Repairs are under way at the Visund platform, after which production of roughly 35,000 b/d of oil and about 5 million cu m of export gas will resume.

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