‘Hydrocarbon leak’ shuts production at Statoil’s Snorre B platform

Statoil ASA has shut down production from the Snorre B platform after it experienced a hydrocarbon leak into a recently identified crater measuring 100 cu m affiliated with a well at one of four seabed production frames, a company spokesman told OGJ on May 19. The crater was spotted May 17 after a routine inspection by a remotely operated underwater vehicle.

The company said heavy brine is now being pumped into the well to stabilize it. Production will remain shut down until the cause of the leak is found.

Thirty-three out of 136 workers on the platform were evacuated to a floating accommodation facility near Snorre A on May 17—the field’s other production platform—and eventually onshore May 19. Statoil described these evacuated workers as “noncritical personnel related to handling this type of issue.”

Statoil said it has kept the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Organization informed of its activities.

Snorre field reserves are estimated at 1.55 billion bbl of oil. Statoil in October 2013 recommended the construction of a drilling and processing platform for extracting the remaining reserves from Snorre (OGJ Online, Oct. 28, 2013).

Production from the Snorre A platform was shut down in late 2004 after human error caused a natural gas leak, halting production of about 130,000 b/d of oil from the platform and 75,000 b/d from its Vigdis satellite, which used the Snorre A facilities for processing (OGJ Online, Jan. 18, 2005). Production resumed in early 2005 (OGJ Online, Feb. 9, 2005).

Partners in the Snorre license are Statoil 33.27556%, Petoro 30%, ExxonMobil E&P Norway 17.44596%, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge 9.6%, RWE Dea Norge 8.57108%, and Core Energy 1.1074%.

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