Åsgard B tow postponed

April 14, 2000, 13:30 CEST

The initial tow-out of Statoil's Åsgard B gas platform has been postponed by one day to the morning of 15 April following an accident on 13 April.

This announcement has been made by project director Bård Heimset.

A tug involved in preparing the move from Stavanger to the nearby Åmøy Fjord collided with a buoyancy tank installed on the lower pontoon on one side of the platform.

The tank was ruptured and filled with water, and must be repaired and emptied. Mr Heimset says this can take a couple of days, and will be carried out in the Åmøy Fjord.

Installed to provide increased buoyancy and stability, the tank is not part of the floating platform's permanent support structure.

Åsgard B currently stands nine metres higher than it will do once it has been positioned on the Norwegian Sea field.

Such accidents as this would not be possible under normal operating conditions, says Mr Heimset.

He does not believe the incident will have any consequences for future progress with the project, which calls for Åsgard B to start being towed north around 19 April.