Bellona files charges against Statoil for emergency Gullfaks C unreadiness / News / The Foreigner

Bellona files charges against Statoil for emergency Gullfaks C unreadiness. Environmental organization Bellona has filed charges against Statoil for safety breaches on Gullfaks C. It alleges the company would not have been able to stop a potential disaster. “Statoil was unprepared for an emergency situation. Stopping an oil leak could have taken months and years if the near-disaster on Gullfaks C had developed into a major accident,” says leader Frederic Hauge. The company had to evacuate 89 personnel from its facility because of a gas leak on 19th of May. One of Gullfaks C’s two blowout preventers (BOPs) failed, and it took two months to stabilise the well pressure.

statoil, gullfaks, bellona, frederic, hauge, petroleum, safety, authority, gas, blowout, drilling, well, pressure, police, charges



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Bellona files charges against Statoil for emergency Gullfaks C unreadiness

Published on Thursday, 25th November, 2010 at 12:48 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Environmental organization Bellona has filed charges against Statoil for safety breaches on Gullfaks C. It alleges the company would not have been able to stop a potential disaster.

Gullfaks C
Gullfaks C
Photo: Øyvind Hagen/Statoil


Absent

“Statoil was unprepared for an emergency situation. Stopping an oil leak could have taken months and years if the near-disaster on Gullfaks C had developed into a major accident,” says leader Frederic Hauge.

The company had to evacuate 89 personnel from its facility because of a gas leak on 19th of May. One of Gullfaks C’s two blowout preventers (BOPs) failed, and it took two months to stabilise the well pressure.

On Monday, police started their own investigation based on information they received from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) after it presented its own report last week.

The authority had not conducted its own investigation before Statoil issued its own conclusions, which resulted in a complete drilling and well activity shutdown on Gullfaks A, B and C.

Insufficient?

Oil industry regulations require all companies to have emergency well kill procedures in case of a blowout, and there must be approved plans for drilling a relief well for all wells drilled on the NCS (Norwegian Continental Shelf).

A relief well is the only secure method to prevent a blowout until all the pressure has gone from a well, Teknisk Ukeblad (TU) reports.

“Statoil has not proven the company had adequate plans for drilling a relief well,” says PSA spokesperson Øyvind Midthun.

According to TU, the same conclusions are contained in Statoil’s own report: “there is reason to believe the existing plan for drilling a relief well at Gullfaks C could not be used.”

Bjørn Berle Engedal, head of drilling operations for Gullfaks, claims the company’s well kill procedures for installation C are adequate, however.

“Our plans are based on a study from 2005, and assume it is possible to drill relief wells with conventional overbalanced drilling. Relief wells should not be used for production, so they do not have the same requirements. We therefore believe that it will be possible to kill the well using conventional drilling technology.”

Order

The PSA has notified the company it intends to issue an order after its audit, and Bellona has asked police to prosecute Statoil for no less than 45 counts of regulatory breaches.

“Repeated violations and a lack of an action plan from Statoil mean an accident could have resulted in large oil spills, explosions, and fatalities,” says Bellona’s Frederic Hauge.




Published on Thursday, 25th November, 2010 at 12:48 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: statoil, gullfaks, bellona, frederic, hauge, petroleum, safety, authority, gas, blowout, drilling, well, pressure, police, charges.





  
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