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Leakage on Huldra line

September 14, 2001, 01:30 CEST

A small oil leakage was discovered early today, 14 September, on the condensate pipeline between the Huldra and Veslefrikk platforms in the North Sea.

The leakage was found in connection with work to find a fault in an electricity cable close to the pipeline.

A subsea ROV sent out from the Normand Tonjer supply ship has inspected the damage. The cause of the leakage is not yet clear, but it occurred in the area where a breakage in the cable was found.

Repairs will be carried out as quickly as possible, and operator Statoil is currently considering putting clamps on the line to seal the hole and remove oil inside the line. Statoil is also assessing whether it is necessary to remove the oil which has leaked to the surface. Preliminary observations suggest that about six barrels of oil per day are leaking out.

The 16-kilometre-long pipeline, which is not pressurised, contains more than 3000 barrels of oil in total.

Wave height in the area is about two metres, with a north-westerly wind strength of 20 knots. The eight-inch diameter line lies at a depth of 162 metres and is covered with sand and clay.

Huldra was due to come on stream on 1 October. The cable fracture and the leakage will have consequences for the start-up and the associated gas deliveries. Until the damage has been repaired, Statoil's objective is to supply gas from other sources on the Norwegian continental shelf.