Small gas leak from Kvitebjørn pipeline
The Kvitebjørn-platform. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen, StatoilHydro)
In the autumn of 2007, this pipeline was dragged out of position by a ship's anchor. In January this year, the pipeline was qualified for temporary use pending a permanent repair. This summer it was decided to make the permanent repair in 2009.
The leak which has now been discovered is in the same place as the pipeline was damaged last autumn, around 10 kilometres from the platform.
StatoilHydro will now consider various repair solutions for the Kvitebjørn pipeline. On this basis, it will be decided when operation of the pipeline and the Kvitebjørn field can be resumed.
Turnaround operations are presently being carried out at Kvitebjørn and Kollsnes and the pressure in the pipeline has accordingly been reduced. The pipeline will now be further depressurized and emptied via flaring at Kollsnes.
The Visund platform also normally utilises the Kvitebjørn pipeline for gas export, but has reinjected gas during the turnaround at Kvitebjørn and Kollsnes. Oil production from Visund is being maintained, but at a somewhat lower level than usual.
StatoilHydro’s gas customers are not likely to be affected by the incident.
StatoilHydro has standby vessels patrolling the area in the vicinity of the leak.