Strike exemption

May 10, 1999, 14:45 CEST

Striking personnel from contractor Dowell Schlumberger will do some of the downhole work to secure a production shutdown on Statoil's Veslefrikk field.

This exemption has been given by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate after initially being refused by the strike leadership in the Federation of Offshore Worker Unions (OFS).

The NPD has taken safety into account in giving Statoil permission to continue work on pumping chemicals into the wells to prevent the formation of hydrate plugs.

But the group is not being allowed to secure the wells against scale and corrosion, which could cause damage to the reservoir.

"We won't be able to determine the extent of any damage until we re-open the wells in the autumn," says drilling supervisor Otto Øren in Veslefrikk.

The wells need to be shut in because the Veslefrikk B floater is due to be docked at Aker Stord south of Bergen in early June. It will be upgraded there to process oil and gas from Statoil's nearby Huldra development