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Normal production restored

March 8, 2000, 14:00 CET

Oil production and loading on Statfjord and Gullfaks have returned to normal after being reduced by a period of storms and high waves.

Output from these Statoil fields in the North Sea had to be cut back on 5 March, but could be restored after the weather eased on 7 March.

Two oil cargoes were shipped from Gullfaks at midnight on 7 March, with a further two consignments due to be shipped away today, 8 March.

Loading began on Statfjord from the C buoy, while a damaged hawser used in loading operations from Statfjord B was repaired. This means that two of the three loading systems on this field are operational. One cargo was loaded before midnight, and two will be completed today.

As soon as the weather permits, work will begin to repair a hose pulled off the A buoy.

However, production from the field can continue at normal levels without this facility being in operation.

The oil storage cells in Statoil's three platforms receive some 600,000 barrels of oil per day, including crude from satellite fields and Norsk Hydro's Snorre platform.

Storage inflow on Gullfaks is 560,000 daily barrels, including the Gullfaks satellites as well as Hydro's Vigdis, Visund and Tordis fields.