Statfjord cargo milestone

March 26, 1999, 08:00 CET

Shuttle tanker Evita is due to start taking on the 5,000th cargo from Statoil's Statfjord field in the North Sea on 28 March.

A total of 4.2 billion barrels of oil have been loaded from Statfjord since Einar Rasmussen's Polytraveller lifted the first cargo from this field in November 1979.

If these consignments were transferred to conventional barrels and these then placed side by side, they would stretch 126 times around the Equator.

In 1999 money, the crude oil loaded from Statfjord would be worth more than NOK 900 billion.

A tanker has sailed from the field on 71 per cent of the days since it came on stream. These vessels have loaded an average of 840,000 barrels per consignment.

The worst accident during these operations occurred on 20 August 1980, when oil vapour caught fire on Polytraveller and the captain was killed.

"Apart from that serious incident, however, we have only experienced a few minor mishaps," says project manager Håkon Lavik in Statfjord operations. "By and large, oil shipments from Statfjord have maintained a very high regularity."

Norway is a global leader for offshore loading of crude. Statfjord holds the world record for the volume of oil shipped in this way from a single field, with Statoil's Gullfaks development in the North Sea in second place.