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Disruptions after environmental trial

August 15, 2001, 11:00 CEST

Statoil expects that the disruptions to production on the Gullfaks field in the North Sea will soon be over. Production from the A and B platforms has been reduced due to testing of a new type of chemical.

Since 6 August, oil production at Gullfaks A and B has been reduced. The reason for this is that two gas coolers and associated pipe systems and tanks on the platforms have been blocked following trials with injection of a new type of chemical for desulphurisation.

"The chemicals which were tested cause less environmental damage and are more easily bio-degradable than the substances which have been used up to now", says Øivind Reinertsen, senior vice president for the Tampen area.

A date for resuming full production depends on whether the substance has also reached the compressors. If this has happened, it is expected that output will be reduced for at least one week. If not, normal production is expected to be resumed during Friday 17 August.

Before production is fully restored, the processing equipment will be cleaned.

Under normal conditions, oil production at Gullfaks A and B is just over 180,000 barrels per day. During this disruption period, production has been halved.