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Drilling on Eirik Raude halted

April 13, 2005, 01:00 CEST

Statoil has decided to stop all drilling from the Eirik Raude rig, which is drilling the Guovca exploration well in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. Hydraulic oil was accidentally spilled from the rig yesterday, 12 April, probably caused by a leak from a hydraulic hose.

“We take a very serious view of the incident and are now setting up a working group with participants from the rig operator Ocean Rig,” says Tim Dodson, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. "This group will identify short and long-term measures to avoid similar leaks in the future."

"The progress of the drilling activity is of secondary importance, and we will take the time we need before we start up again."

The Guovca well was spudded on 2 April.