Rig leak posed no threat

October 10, 2005, 15:00 CEST

A discharge of hydraulic oil from the Eirik Raude drilling rig in the Barents Sea on 12 April posed no environmental threat, according to an official inquiry report.

This document has been drawn up by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) and the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT).

Eirik Raude was drilling the Guovca wildcat for Statoil when the accident happened. Work stopped at once, and contractor Ocean Rig and Statoil sought to clarify the background for the leak.

This internal investigation also concluded that the discharge of about one cubic metre of hydraulic oil had no impact on the marine environment.

“The official report is in line with our own assessment of the causes of the accident,” says Ørjan Birkeland, Statoil’s exploration manager for the Barents Sea.

“We’re glad it confirms that no environmental damage was done. It also supports the view that, despite the leak, this was one of Norway’s most environment-friendly drilling operations.”

The internal inquiry found that the direct cause of the leak was a split hose. After the hose had been replaced, drilling resumed following a three-week shutdown.