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Statoil experiences three safety incidents in North Sea over one weekend

17 October 2016

On October 15 and 16, Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil shut down three rigs in the North Sea after separate incidents. The most serious saw the company evacuating some personnel from the Statfjord A platform after fire broke out in a utility shaft on October 16. Two Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters were mobilised as well an emergency response vessel.

The Statfjord A platform - Image: Statoil
The Statfjord A platform - Image: Statoil

A Statoil spokesperson said: "The fire started in a loading pump in the utility shaft and was restricted to one area that is separated by fire barriers. When the smoke was detected, the automatic deluge system was triggered. The emergency response organisation on Statfjord A worked on extinguishing the fire. The area is now being monitored by the fireguard.

"There were 67 people on board when the incident occurred. At 10 am, 20 people had been moved to Statfjord B by SAR helicopter.

"Production at Statfjord A was shut down and crew on board without emergency response assignments were sent to the lifeboats. They are now being gathered for a debriefing on the platform."

As of October 17, it was still unclear when production at Statfjord A would resume, a Statoil spokesman told Reuters.

In another incident, a gas leak on the Gullfaks A oil and gas platform on October 16 caused production to be suspended. There were 210 people on board and all not involved in emergency operations were ordered to the rig’s lifeboats. The leak was quickly plugged, however, and production resumed on October 17.

On October 15, workers had to be evacuated from the Songa Endurance rig after a well control incident on the Troll field. Specialist staff had to be brought in to deal with the situation while other employees were evacuated onshore.

The well was secured with a blowout preventer on the seabed and also with a valve on the rig.
Work was also carried out to stabilise the well with extra specialist staff being sent out to assist the work.

There were around 107 people on board the when the incident happened.

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