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Order for Statoil following investigation of hydrocarbon leak at Gudrun

The PSA has issued an order to Statoil following the investigation of the hydrocarbon leak at Gudrun. The investigation identified serious breaches of the regulations.

The hydrocarbon leak occurred on the Gudrun facility in the North Sea on 18 February 2015.

The proximate cause of the incident was a leak from a rupture in a 2" pipe in the bypass line directly downstream of the first-stage separator. The initial leak rate was estimated by Statoil at 8 kg/s. Condensate from the first-stage separator leaked to the open air.

Actual consequences
The total emission/discharge is estimated at 2,800 kg (4 cubic metres) of condensate and more than 1 cubic metre is estimated to have been discharged into the sea. The leak on Gudrun is regarded as one of the larger hydrocarbon escapes recorded on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) over the past decade.

The incident did not cause any injuries to persons.

Potential consequences
Under marginally different circumstances, the incident could have resulted in a major accident with loss of life, substantial material damage and impacts on the marine environment.

Based on the findings made during the investigation, the PSA issued Statoil with a notification of order. Read more: notification of order to Statoil following investigation of hydrocarbon leak at Gudrun.

In conformity with the notification, Statoil is now issued with the following order:

Pursuant to the Framework Regulations, section 69 concerning administrative decisions, with reference to the Management Regulations, section 6 concerning the management of health, safety and the environment, section 15 concerning information and section 21 concerning follow-up, we order Statoil to ensure that the management of health, safety and the environment in the operation of Gudrun comprises those activities necessary for identifying, risk-assessing and processing signals from operational process facilities and to implement requisite measures. And furthermore to ensure that knowledge and necessary information from key technical experts is communicated in a systematic and appropriate manner to operations, and to ensure that such information is made use of in all phases.

The deadline for complying with the order is set at 1 June 2016. We are to be notified when the order has been carried out.

Øyvind Midttun, Press contact
Email: oyvind.midttun@ptil.no | +47 51 87 34 77