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PSA orders Statoil to review systems following North Sea hydrocarbon leak

28 August 2014

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has issued an order to Statoil following the investigation into the leak at Statfjord C platform in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, which identified serious breaches of regulations.

Stock image
Stock image

The leak occurred during the transfer of stabilised oil from Statfjord A to Statfjord C. While the transfer was taking place, a mud pump in the Statfjord C shaft was being readied for maintenance. An isolation valve for this mud pump leaked and the pump housing filled with oil. This oil was drained into a sump tank at the bottom of the shaft via an open drain valve.

Once the level in the sump tank rose to 70%, the pump started so as to transfer the fluid in the sump tank to the oily water tank under the cellar deck. The valve for regulating the level in the oily water tank did not open and oil leaked through water locks on the cellar deck.

Under the PSA order Statoil must review its systems for following up and identifying the causes of the failure to detect the technical, operational and organisational weaknesses, failings and omissions that have been demonstrated by this incident and to implement necessary measures.

The deadline for complying with the order, which is legally binding under Norwegian law, is October 1, 2014.

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