Statoil accepted an NKR 10MM (US$ 1.64MM) fine after it was ruled that in May 2011, the company improperly sent 180cu m of wash water with chemicals, or hazardous waste, from the Oseberg C platform to the Sture terminal.
Statoil maintains that the wash water and scale was erroneously sent through the oil export pipeline to Sture; however, the terminal did not have permission to receive or handle the waste.
“This was a highly regrettable incident that should not have occurred,” says Terje Gunnar Hauge, head of Oseberg operations. “We fortunately have no indications that this has resulted in local pollution at Sture.”
New procedures for reporting fluid content sent through the oil pipeline through the oil export system have been introduced, Statoil said.
According to Statoil, oil from the Oseberg area is transported to Sture through the Oseberg Transport System, which is also the transport system used for oil from the Oseberg Sør, Oseberg Øst, Brage and Veslefrikk fields.
Oseberg C, a drilling accommodation and production platform, is one of four platforms that comprise the Oseberg field Centre 130km northwest of Bergen, Norway. Oseberg A, B and D are connected with bridges in the southern part of the field, and the Oseberg C platform lies 14km north of the field center. Gas export began in the area on October 1, 2000.
This marks the second time in 2013 Statoil has accepted a fine from the authorities. On 31 May, the company accepted a NKR 30MM (US$5.5MM) from Rogaland County, Norway’s public prosecutor for the well-control issue it experienced on the Gullfaks C platform on 19 May 2010. After the Snorre A incident, the NKR 30MM fine was the second-largest environmental fine in the country’s history.
Image of the Oseberg C platform courtesy Statoil.