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Statoil shuts production from Snorre B platform after hydrocarbon leak

20 May 2014

On May 19, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it had shut down production from its Snorre B platform in the North Sea and evacuated a quarter of the personnel after detecting a soil shift and an oil leak. The leak was into a recently identified crater measuring 100 cubic metres affiliated with a well at one of four seabed production frames.

Snorre B - Photo: Statoil
Snorre B - Photo: Statoil

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 stabilise 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 —the field’s other production platform— and from there onshore. Statoil described the evacuated workers as not critical to handling this type of issue.

The Snorre field in the northern part of the North Sea is Norway's fourth-biggest oil with output averaging 88,000 barrels of oil per day in 2013, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Snorre field reserves are estimated at 1.55 billion bbl of oil.

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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