Statfjord A Platform Resumes Loading After Leak

Statfjord A (Equinor)

By The Maritime Executive 05-20-2019 08:05:27

Equinor has resumed loadings at its aging Statfjord A platform as an investigation continues into a spill that occurred during oil transfer operations last week. 

On May 15, oil was spotted on the surface of the sea as crude was being loaded onto a shuttle tanker at one of Statfjord A's loading buoys. The exact source of the leak and the volume of the spill have not been determined, according to Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA). The PSA has begun an investigation into the circumstances of the spill, and it says that police authorities have been informed of the incident.

Production at the platform was not interrupted, and Statfjord A has since resumed loading using a different buoy.

The leak occurred less than two weeks after Equinor announced detailed plans to decommission Statfjord A, which has been in operation since 1979. In 2022, the platform will shut down. After preparatory work, the Allseas heavy lift ship Pioneering Spirit will remove the platform topsides in a single lift, then bring the module to the Kvaerner yard at Stord for dismantlement and recycling. Excalibur Marine Contractors will handle the engineering and preparatory work. 

It will be a remarkable moment in the history of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. At the time of its development, the Statfjord field was a landmark achievement, and it has produced five billion barrels of oil and $170 billion in revenue over its 40-plus years in operation. 

It will also be a milestone for the decommissioning industry. The Pioneering Spirit has the heaviest single-lift capacity in the business, and at 48,000 tonnes, the Statfjord A will be the heaviest platform she has ever lifted.