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Reinforcing lifeboats for Kristin and Veslefrikk

August 4, 2005, 11:30 CEST

The superstructure of six freefall lifeboats on Statoil’s Veslefrikk and Kristin fields is to be reinforced after defects were discovered in one of these craft during June.

Work on this programme has already begun at the supplier, Schat-Harding. All of the strengthened boats will be comprehensively tested before being returned offshore.

Three of the lifeboats are located on the Veslefrikk A and B platforms in the North Sea, and the other three have been placed on the Kristin installation in the Norwegian Sea.

“This is a serious matter for Statoil,” says Tim Dodson, acting head of the group’s Exploration & Production Norway business area.

“We’re hoping to find an early solution in cooperation with the supplier and in dialogue with the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.

“This will allow us to resume production on Veslefrikk and continue preparations to bring Kristin on stream in a safe and secure manner.”

But he emphasises that safety for employees always takes precedence over production.

“Our goal is to restart Veslefrikk once repairs, preventive maintenance and inspection of the davit-launched lifeboats on its platforms are completed. We expect that to be some time during the next two weeks.”

Where Kristin is concerned, Mr Dodson reports that it is too early to say anything about the consequences beyond the delay to preparations for test production.

“I’m pleased that we’ve identified these defects through testing and inspection. A good and efficient evacuation system is essential for keeping all our installations in operation.

“Production will remain shut down until all aspects relating to emergency response and evacuation are found to be in order.”

In addition to its own output of about 30,000 barrels of oil per day, Veslefrikk remotely operates the Huldra gas field with a daily production of roughly six million cubic metres.