Norne damage under control

October 21, 1999, 10:00 CEST

Cracks and rust damage on the Norne production ship resulting from wrongly applied paint will be repaired by early 2000.

During a routine inspection in the spring, cracks in the paint were discovered in the bottom and lower areas of the cargo tanks. In addition, a faulty weld measuring about 530 millimetres was found between a cargo tank and a ballast tank as well as some rust.

"The damage is only local and it has no effect on the ship's structure, strength or integrity," says operations vice president for Norne, Hans Eidissen.

The reason why the paint in the cargo tanks has cracked after only a few years of operation is chiefly because the shipyard applied a much thicker coating of paint than specified by both Statoil and the paint supplier Jotun. The paint surface has therefore cracked as a result of mechanical stress and fluctuations in the temperature. Hydrogen sulphide has formed under the loose coat of paint leading to pitting in the surface.

"We have surveyed the problem and are now about to implement an improvement programme which will be completed right after the New Year. After that, the problem of corrosion in the tanks will be resolved," concludes Mr Eidissen.

According to Mr Eidissen, the damage will not affect production in the Norne field. Nor will it have any consequences for safety or increase the danger of pollution from the field.