Continuing to secure the well

November 29, 2004, 13:00 CET

At a press conference in Stavanger today 29 November, Terje Overvik, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway, said that the leak at the Snorre A platform in the North Sea appears to have been stopped at about 10:20 this morning.

Work is now being done to secure the well.

"This is a very serious incident, but I will not speculate about its cause or what might have happened," says Mr Overvik.

The situation on Snorre A is under continuous assessment by Statoil. It is sufficiently clarified to allow ships to supply the platform with more drilling mud, and mud is still being pumped into the well.

There are still 36 people on board Snorre A under the leadership of Statoil's most experienced platform managers. Mr Overvik said that a two-shift arrangement has been established for the further work to secure the well.

It is too early to say when the platform will resume production. While Snorre A and Vigdis are down, there will be a shortfall of just over 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

A weakness in a casing has been identified, but apart from that Mr Overvik does not wish to speculate as to the cause of the incident.

He is satisfied that the procedures for shut-down and evacuation went "by the book". The evacuation of the platform was undramatic.

Those evacuated are due to arrive in Bergen during this afternoon. They will be able to go through the incident with Statoil's personnel care staff, and those who wish will be able to go home.

Click here to access facts about the Snorre field.