Oseberg start-up delayed due to minor leakage

May 4, 2004, 12:00 CEST

A minor gas leakage occurred on Monday evening in a valve in the gas injection system on the Oseberg Field Center. All safety and emergency systems functioned satisfactorily. Production was closed down and the personnel on board assembled. It is not unusual for new leakages to occur duriong a re-start following a production shut-down.

The gas leakage occurred in a valve insert during the run-up of the processing plant on the Center following Saturday's closure, which was due to an oil and gas leakage.

" Monday's leakage occurred when we reduced the pressure and temperature of the plant after the stoppage. It's at just such times that this can happen," says Oseberg Field Center platform manager Vidar Nygård Karlsen, who adds that great effort is always taken to look for such leakages during the re-start phase of the processing plant.

Following Saturday's and Monday's leakages, all personnel were assembled on board in the cinema to be briefed about the incident.

Safety representative for production on the Field Center, Roy Heibø, says that some people do find such incidents discomforting." But it is very reassuring that both the safety systems, and the people dealing with such situations, function and behave exactly as planned. These are, after all, incidents that we often simulate in our safety drills and all employees are always fully informed afterwards," explains Heibø.

Production on the Oseberg field has been closed down while the valve insert is replaced, while Oseberg Øst and Oseberg Sør are producing at a reduced rate. Repair work on the insert is being carried out now. It is expected that production on the Oseberg field can be started up again in the course of the next 24 hours.