Statoil updates status of Gullfaks review

Statoil has held a follow-up meeting with Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) to review findings of a well control incident (C06) at the Gullfaks complex in the North Sea.

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, Norway -- Statoil has held a follow-up meeting with Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) to review findings of a well control incident (C06) at the Gullfaks complex in the North Sea.
According to Gullfaks head Gunnar Nakken, discussions focused on well integrity and pressure build-up in the Shetland formation.

“Studies carried out in 2010 show that the pressure in the Shetland layer is sufficiently high that the formation strength alone does not constitute a full barrier against leakage to the sea bed,” he said. “However, in our view, the sands in the Hordaland formation, which lie above the Shetland and Lista formations, have sufficient capacity to compensate for this. We do not therefore consider it probable that leaks will occur to the formations above the Hordaland layer.”

During the fall of 2010, Nakken added, Statoil closed down 20 wells, mainly water injectors, after reviewing the integrity of all the wells in the field. The reduced water injection necessitated shut-downs of a further 30 wells to maintain the pressure balance in the Gullfaks field. Statoil is now striving to bring as many of these wells as it can back into production again.

“Statoil believes that our operations at Gullfaks are safe and responsible. Wells with problems relating to their integrity have been closed down. We are monitoring the pressure in all wells at the field in order to continually confirm our evaluations and conclusions.

“We are keeping the PSA, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, partners, employee representatives and the safety organisation updated on developments at Gullfaks, so that they are reassured that we have responsible and safe operations at the field at all times.”

02/01/2011

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