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Gas leak on Heidrun

April 6, 2000, 14:00 CEST

No injuries or material damage have been reported in the wake of a gas leak on Statoil's Heidrun platform in the Norwegian Sea on 5 April.

During the evening, gas began flowing from the formation into a production well which was being completed. When this reached topside, the gas alarm sounded.

The 348 personnel on the tension leg platform – including 200 extra people working on the Heidrun north flank project – were immediately ordered to the lifeboats, a process which took 20 minutes.

Standard procedures were implemented to halt the gas flow, and it took the drilling crew about 30 minutes to restore control after pumping heavy mud down the well.

The incident is described as serious by Øyvind Bratsberg, operations vice president for Heidrun. He praises the platform organisation for its rapid response and assured behaviour.

An internal committee of inquiry has been established to study the incident.