Checking Statfjord welds

August 15, 2001, 01:00 CEST

The northern flank of Statfjord, which produces 3,500 barrels of oil per day, was shut down yesterday, 14 August. Statoil wants to ascertain that four subsea welds are up to standard.

The four welds are the same type as those on the Norwegian Sea's Åsgard field, where weak welds were recently discovered.

According to Terje Overvik, who is operations vice president for Statfjord, the four welds got the all-clear after a risk analysis earlier this year.

"But since a leak was uncovered in one of the similar lines on Åsgard, we have decided to halt production," he says.

Mr Overvik points out that the volumes from the northern flank represent less than one per cent of Statfjord's oil output. Statoil will now optimise production from the Statfjord C platform, with a view to making up for the loss of production on the northern flank.

Statoil will now carry out a new risk assessment, before deciding whether the welds will have to be repaired. A decision on when the northern flank will resume production will be taken once the results of the risk assessment are available.

Statfjord's northern flank, which forms the northernmost part of the Statfjord field, produces from two wells. The field is developed as a satellite with two subsea templates, one for oil production and one for water injection with well stream transfer to Statfjord C, where processing, storage and offshore loading are carried out.

None of the other Statoil-operated fields have the same type of welds as those on Åsgard and the north flank of Statfjord.