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Incident on Statfjord C

March 15, 2012, 14:37 CET
Personnel were routinely mustered to the lifeboats when hydrogen sulphide was detected on the platform.

A closer investigation shows that this escape derived from water containing the toxic gas.

”The water has leaked from a flange, and we’re working to find out how it can be halted,” says Dag Petter Berg, operations vice president for Statfjord. ”At present, only fresh seawater is escaping.”

This water derives from a storage cell which holds both oil and water. Hydrogen sulphide forms when water is in contact with crude, and occurs naturally in the cells.
Production remains shut down while work continues to repair the leak.

All personnel are safe, and no injuries or damage have been reported in connection with the incident.

Previous update

UPDATE: The leak point that triggered an H2S alarm in the utility shaft on Statfjord C has been identified as a flange to the wall against a storage cell. All mustered personnel on the platform is demobilized.
Four people with breathing equipment have been sent down the shaft to investigate the leak. Local measurements is 8-10 ppm (parts per million).

All personnel have been permitted to call home. Alerted aditional emergency response resources, such as boats and helicopters, are now demobilized.

Statoil will investigate the cause of the leak, and make all necessary repairs that may follow. 

Production at the platform remains shut down. It is only output from this platform that is affected. Statfjord C has a daily production rate of 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

First release 

A hydrogen sulphide alarm was reported to Statoil’s emergency centre at 10.39 today from the Statfjord C platform in the Tampen area of the North Sea. The position is now under control.
The 236 people on the platform are all accounted for, and everyone except key personnel required to handle the incident mustered to the lifeboats.

While the platform has been shut down, no personal injuries have been reported. The crew have now left the lifeboats.

Hydrogen sulphide is a toxic gas, and detectors are activated at low concentrations. These are now falling from the initial measurements, and no hydrocarbon leaks have been detected.

The official rescue service and the authorities have been notified about the position, and Statoil’s emergency response organisation is mobilised.
At this point, the most important job for the response team is to establish the overall picture and to mobilise the resources required for further handling of the position.
Statoil’s emergency response leadership deals with all incidents on the basis of a worst-case scenario, and then adjusts the action taken to the way they actually develop.
The weather in the area is good. Vessels and helicopters are available locally to provide support for the platform if required.
Statoil sets clear priorities for crises. Safeguarding the people involved comes first, then the environment, and finally the technical integrity of the installation and the group’s industrial interests.