Probe continues into 'escape of hydrocarbons' from Ula oil field off Norway

The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) said it is investigating a Sept. 12 “substantial escape of hydrocarbons” from an offshore production platform in Ula oil field in the Norwegian North Sea.

Production from Ula field, which is operated by BP PLC, was suspended. Norwegian Petroleum Directorate statistics show Ula field produced 10,200 b/d of oil in July.

No injuries resulted, and no damage resulted to the platform beyond equipment directly involved, PSA said.

“But the PSA considers the incident to have had a substantial potential,” the agency said. “The leak arose in the separator module on Ula’s production platform. Nobody was in the module when the incident occurred.”

The production platform automatically shut down, and all personnel were evacuated to a drilling platform.

Discovered in 1976, Ula field is in the southern part of Norway's North Sea sector and has three conventional steel platforms (processing, drilling, and accommodations) in 30 m of water. The platforms are linked by bridges.

PSA said its objectives include establishing the course of events and identifying the direct and underlying causes. No other details were immediately available.

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