Statoil Statfjord fire under scrutiny

Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) is investigating a fire on Statoil's Statfjord A platform yesterday (16 October) morning.

The operator said the fire started in a loading pump in the utility shaft on the platform. No one is reported to have been hurt and the fire, reported at 8:20 a.m., was out by 11 a.m. 

Some 20 of the 67 staff on board were moved to the nearby Statfjord B facility by helicopter during the incident and production on Statfjord A shut-in.

The PSA said an investigation team was flying out to Statfjord A today and would also support any police investigation. 

Statfjord A is a production platform that has a concrete substructure and storage cells. The Norwegian part of the Statfjord field is located in blocks 33/9 and 33/12 in license 037 and contains both oil and gas.

The fire started in a loading pump in the utility shaft and was restricted to one area that is separated by fire barriers, says Statoil. When the smoke was detected, the automatic deluge system was triggered.

Last month, Statoil celebrated the 5 billionth barrel of oil produced from Statfjord. Norway's minister of petroleum and energy Tord Lien visited the facility. 

Statoil was also subject of an investigation after a small leak at the OLS B loading buoy at Statfjord A last year. Last month, regulators listed a number of nonconformities to regulations found as part of the investigation.

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.

Statfjord is one of the oldest producing fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, and the largest oil discovery in the North Sea. It is expected to continue producing until at least 2025. 

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