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Still working on unstable Snorre well

November 28, 2004, 22:20 CET

A gas leak in a well on Statoil’s Snorre A platform in the North Sea around 19.00 on Sunday 28 November prompted the evacuation of personnel with no emergency response role to nearby installations.

Arising during a workover which including pulling the production tubing, the leak was the result of a downhole instability.

Work is now under way on several different approaches for re-establishing the necessary barriers in the well, which is normally used for water and gas injection, and to halt the leak.

The well has now been brought under control and no gas is reaching the tension-leg platform, but the position remains unclear. Gas is flowing up from the seabed to the sea surface.

The evacuation embraced 180 of Snorre A’s 216 crew. They have been transferred by helicopter to the Stena Don drilling rig, to the Snorre B platform and to other nearby installations.

“We’re well supplied with vessels and helicopters in the area, and have good technical expertise for stabilising the well,” says Øivind Reinertsen, senior vice president for Statoil’s Tampen business cluster.

Production from Snorre A has been shut down. This platform produces roughly 130,000 barrels per day, plus some 75,000 barrels per day of Vigdis oil normally processed on the installation.

Weather in the area is fine, with a 15-knot wind from the north and wave heights of two-four metres.

Statoil will issue further information about this incident as it becomes available.

A special number has been established for relatives to call on +47 800 500 20.

Statoil’s public affairs managers are only available on +47 51 99 19 84.

Click here for a sketch of the well.

Click here to access facts about the Snorre field.

Snorre A stands in the northern North Sea.