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Fined for chemical spill

January 16, 2004, 12:25 CET

A fine of NOK 1 million has been imposed on Statoil in connection with a chemical spill on the Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea during February 2000.

Representing an alternative to a court hearing, this penalty has been determined by the chief of police for the Nordmøre og Romsdal district of mid-Norway.

The discharge was spotted by Statoil when reviewing environmental accounts for an operation on Heidrun, and a report was submitted to the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority.

A good deal has subsequently been done to prevent this type of incident recurring, with new and tougher routines in place and everyone concerned being notified.

Statoil’s information about the chemicals involved and quantities spilt indicate that the discharge has not caused appreciable harm to the environment.

The group is working towards a goal of zero harmful discharges from oil and gas fields, and Heidrun operations vice president Olav Skotheim deeply regrets the 2000 incident.

Under Norwegian law, the fine can either be accepted or rejected. In the latter case, criminal proceedings will be instituted.

Statoil has taken note of the penalty and will reach a decision in the near future on whether to accept it.