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Rig adrift in Norwegian Sea

November 22, 2001, 00:30 CET

The Byford Dolphin drilling rig has been adrift in the Halten Bank area of the Norwegian Sea since it escaped from a tow at 07.30 today, 22 November.

This unit was on its way to plug a well on Statoil’s Mikkel field. All 71 crew on board are in good condition, and the position is not considered critical.

Weather in the area is reportedly poor, with snow flurries and high seas. Waves have a significant height of 7.7 metres.

The rig has its own propulsion machinery, and is moving under control at a speed of 1.3 knots between the Draugen and Njord platforms.

Its course does not present any risk of collision with nearby installations.

The first priority is to get new towlines on board the rig. Anchorhandlers Northern Chaser and Pacific Banner are shadowing it.

In addition, anchorhandler Northern Crusader is on its way from Kristiansund in mid-Norway. Several other vessels and helicopters are also standing by.

A search and rescue (SAR) helicopter normally stationed on Statoil’s Heidrun platform is ready to take off at short notice from the Ørland airfield.

The joint rescue coordination centre for southern Norway has mobilised a Sea King helicopter from Ørland to Shell’s Draugen platform.

Standby ships are also available in the area, with Strihauk near Byford Dolphin and Ocean Sky between Draugen and Njord. Skandi Stord is between Heidrun and Åsgard.

Relatives can call Statoil on +47 74 86 24 44 or +47 74 86 25 55 for more details.

Dolphin can be contacted on +47 51 69 43 00.