Statoil's Kvitebjørn and Heidrun shut down

Statoil has shut down production on the Kvitebjørn platform and is also to shut down production on the Heidrun platform to repair the flare knock-out drums.

Offshore staff

(North Sea) - Statoil has shut down production on the Kvitebjørn platform and is also to shut down production on the Heidrun platform to repair the flare knock-out drums.

The group is doing this as a precautionary measure following the gas leak on the Visund platform on January 19.

Statoil has reviewed all of its facilities to control the flare knock-out drums.

Even though Statoil's internal investigation into the gas leak on Visund in the North Sea is not finished, it can be concluded that the direct cause was a metal plate which came loose from the flare knock-out drum.

In a letter to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway on February 3, Statoil pointed out that the group has similar constructions on the Sleipner B and Kvitebjørn platforms in the North Sea, on Heidrun in the Norwegian Sea, and at the gas processing complex at Kollsnes near Bergen.

A team of specialists at Statoil has made a detailed evaluation of the design of Heidrun and Kvitebjørn and concluded that the flare knock-out drums should also be repaired.

Production from Kvitebjørn was therefore stopped on February 8 to remove the plates in the flare knock-out drums. This operation is expected to take a few days.

Production from Heidrun will also be shut down for a few days from the middle of next week to remove the plates in the flare knock-out drums.

The specialist team is now assessing whether it will be necessary to remove similar plates at Kollsnes and on the Sleipner B platform.

The shortfall in production from Kvitebjørn will be just over 20 MMcm/d of gas and about 60,000 b/d of condensate.

For Heidrun, the shortfall will be just over 3 MMcm/d of gas and about 140,000 b/d of oil.

02/09/06



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