Norway investigates Statoil blowout
Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 10:47 AM
by Tom Fowler Drilling
Police in Norway have launched an investigation into an incident in May in which a Statoil platform in the North Sea had to be evacuated during drilling operations.
The investigation follows the releases of a report by Norway’s drilling safety regulators that found Statoil got lucky when it lost control of the well on May 19 — the damage could have been worse:
Viewed overall, the PSA has concluded that serious deficiencies have been identified in Statoil’s planning of this Gullfaks well and in management checks that the work was being done in an acceptable manner.
The findings could be seen by some as a challenge to industry assertions such accidents are rare and highly unlikely in the North Sea, where safety standards are considered to be particularly tough.
The Financial Times notes the report could complicate efforts by the Norwegian oil industry to win access to untapped oil and gas reserves off the country’s Arctic coastline
Production on the Gullfaks platform was halted for nearly two months while mud and cement were pumped into the faulty well.