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"Eirik Raude" resumes exploration drilling

February 21, 2005, 16:10 CET

The drilling rig, "Eirik Raude," was able to resume exploration drilling in the Barents Sea on Monday afternoon after getting the green light from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Ocean Rig, the company that owns "Eirik Raude," was ordered on 17 February to evaluate the quality of all the rig's emergency barriers against accidental spills into the sea.

As operator of the exploration drilling operation, Hydro was ordered to ensure that the evaluation was adequately conducted.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate concluded on Monday that the order had been fulfilled and that exploration drilling could resume.

The order to halt drilling was issued on Thursday, in the wake of two accidental spills into the sea, respectively, on 8 and 16 February.