Oil spills from Statfjord platform

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 12 The Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies is carrying out an emergency response following an oil spill of 4,000 cu m from the Statfjord A platform in the Norwegian North Sea.

The accident happened as the shuttle tanker Navion Britannia was loading StatoilHydro AS's oil from a buoy.

A company spokesman told OGJ that the spill was caused by a leak in the subsea hose between the loading buoy and ship. The loading buoy has been shut down, but oil production of 470,000-480,000 b/d and 6 million cu m/day of gas are continuing as normal from the platform, including satellite fields tied back to that unit.

"An aircraft from the Norwegian Coastal Administration and a helicopter have been deployed to determine the extent of the discharge," StatoilHydro said.

Wind speed of 45 knots in northern direction and wave height up to 7 m prevented the association from using four sets of skimming equipment to tackle the spill. "We are also looking at using chemicals like dispersants but we need to speak to the authorities," the spokesman added.

The field will undergo redevelopment in 2008 whereby StatoilHydro has postponed depressurization, which will increase its oil production by more than 7 million bbl, while gas production from the reservoir will be somewhat delayed. The delayed gas output will be partly offset by increased gas production from the Statfjord reservoir (OGJ Online, June 28, 2006).

Statfjord is 200 km west of Bergen, close to the border of the UK continental shelf.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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