Norsk Hydro rig resumes operation

The drilling rig Bideford Dolphin has resumed operation at Vigdis field in the Norwegian North Sea, and oil production of about 280,000 b/d from Snorre and Vidgdis fields is back on line, Norsk Hydro AS reported Monday.


The drilling rig Bideford Dolphin has resumed operation at Vigdis field in the Norwegian North Sea, and oil production of about 280,000 b/d from Snorre and Vidgdis fields is back on line, Norsk Hydro AS reported Monday.

Sections of the three anchor lines that were damaged in hurricane-force winds June 13 have been replaced. A remote-controlled underwater vehicle was used to inspect all of the rig's eight anchor lines without uncovering further problems, the company said, and work is proceeding to find out the cause of the anchor problems.

An independent investigative commission was established immediately after the incident to determine the cause of the problem. The commission consists of representatives from Norsk Hydro, rig owner Dolphin AS, and outside consultants. The group expects to deliver its first report by the end of June, said Norsk Hydro.

Vigdis field is on Block 34/7 in the Tampen region, about 210 km northwest of Bergen and 7 km southwest of Snorre field.

On Tuesday, most of the personnel on board the rig were evacuated after three of eight anchors broke loose in storm conditions and high waves (OGJ Online, June 16, 2000). The fear was that the rig would start drifting. Most of the crew was evacuated, but 26 crew members remained on board for safety reasons. The weather calmed Wednesday and the situation stabilized.

More in Drilling & Production