Did not inform of discharge
The Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) has reported Statoil to the police for failing to comply with the obligation to notify SFT following an oil discharge in the North Sea in July last year.
Five tonnes of oil were discharged during maintenance work on a well on the Sleipner A platform. The maintenance was carried out in the manner which is most environmentally friendly as regards emissions to the air.
When the well was started up following the maintenance work, the well stream was conveyed to the process plant in order to limit emissions to the air and the sea. Previously it was common practice in workovers to burn the gas and fluid stream over the flare boom.
According to Bjørn Tykhelle, operations coordinator for Sleipner, problems arose when hydrocarbons, chemicals and water from the well formed emulsions that made it difficult to separate the oil from water.
The platform’s fixed purifying facilities could not tackle this mixture.
Since then, similar well workovers have been carried out with the use of specially adapted, transportable purification facilities. This has provided good results.
Environmental adviser Berit Hovengen Melberg apologises for the discharge, but is very pleased with the environmental improvements achieved by the new method for workovers.