Oil Spills into U.K. North Sea

Statfjord A
Statfjord A

Published Oct 8, 2015 9:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

Statoil has reported an oil spill near its Statfjord A platform in the U.K. North Sea. The Norwegian multinational company has responded to the incident, but states that it is too early to definitively determine how much oil has leaked. The company’s early estimate of the spill is 250 barrels.

The leak was discovered at 8:30 am local time during the loading of oil from Statfjord A to the M/T Hilda Knutsen via the OLS B loading buoy, which is located between Statfjord A and Statfjord B. The leak is reportedly located in a flange in the loading hose.

Production at the platform is proceeding as normal, but loading of tankers has been suspended and it is unclear when it will resume.

A stand-by vessel with oil spill response equipment and an anchor handling vessel are at the site of the spill. A SAR helicopter is also assisting with monitoring the spill.

Statfjord is one of Statoil’s oldest producing field, and produces more than 24,000 bpd. Centrica and ExxonMobil are Statoil’s partners in the Statfjord A. Production was scheduled to end at the field a few years ago, but in 2013 Statoil, Centrica and Exxon agreed to extend production until 2020.

Originally, the partnership hoped to recover 40 percent of the oil in the Statfjord field. The outcome so far is about 66 percent, while the global average for oil fields is 35 percent. The goal is to recover 74 percent of the oil from Statfjord.