Statoil reported that oil had been observed near the OLS B loading bouy at the Statfjord filed, offshore Norway, in the early morning hours of 8 October. Production at Statfjord A is said to be operating normally.
Statfjord field. Image from Statoil.
Statoil discovered the spill during the loading of oil from the Statfjord A platform to the tanker Hilda Knutsen via the OLS B loading buoy, located between Statfjord A and Statfjord B. Preliminary assessments indicate that the spill is within the range of 40 cu m of oil, Statoil said in an updated statement that afternoon.
Statoil said the leak is located in a flange in the loading hose.
"Further assessment and investigations will uncover the scope caused in more detail," the Norwegian explorer said.
Loading to the tanker was stopped and supply to the pipe and loading system from Statfjord A was closed, Statoil said in a statement.
A standby vessel with oil spill response equipment and the anchor handling vessel, equipped with a ROV, were at the scene of the spill, in addition to a SAR helicopter to assist with monitoring the spill.
The Statfjord field has been developed with the Statfjord A, B and C production platforms. Statfjord A began production on 24 November 1979. Statfjord B followed on 5 November 1982, and Statfjord C on 26 June 1985.
The Norwegian share of the field lies in blocks 33/9 and 33/12 in production license 037, while the British part is in UK block 211/25 in licenses 104 and 293.
The field will remain in production until 2025 and possibilities to furter expand the lifetime are being looked into.
Statfjord is one of the oldest producing fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, and the largest oil discovery in the North Sea.
When drilling and well work are under way on the field, about 200 people are employed on Statfjord A, 200 on the B platform and 240 on Statfjord C.
Almost 400 people used to be transported to and from Statfjord every day. This number is now substantially reduced, partly because activities have been discontinued or moved to land.