Hydro fined over offshore fatality

September 18, 2001, 01:00 CEST

Norsk Hydro has been fined NOK 15 million (1.9 million) in connection with the death of a worker on the Oseberg Øst offshore oil platform.

The worker, Rune Grønningen, was fatally injured in a crane accident last Dec. 24.

Henrik Andenæs, Hydro's senior vice president of corporate communications, said the accident was deeply regrettable and that Hydro views the case with utmost seriousness.

Hydro has carried out an extensive inquiry into how offshore safety can be strengthened. A wide-ranging program was presented to Norwegian government authorities in June, and a number of intiatives have already been implemented to help prevent a similar accident from occurring, Andenæs said.

"Compared to other cases, we are surprised by the size of the fine. It will take some time to evaluate the finding closely before we can comment further," he said.

In addition, authorities fined Prosafe Drilling AS (formerly Procon Drilling Services) NOK 750,000. The crane operator who was involved in the accident was not charged.