STAVANGER, Norway -- Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has approved Statoil’s request for exploration drilling in the central Norwegian North Sea.
The consent relates to well 16/7-10, which will be drilled in license PL 569 by the semisub Ocean Vanguard. The location is around 17 km (10.6 mi) northeast of the Sleipner complex, in a water depth of 85 m (279 ft). Drilling should last 51 days.
In the Norwegian Sea, production on the Njord platform had to be shut down for the second time this month, following problems on Sunday with gaskets in a gas export compressor. Later that day, a gas leak was also discovered in one of the risers. Operations will remain suspended until the cause of the leak has been determined.
Production was first halted on April 1 as a safety measure, to inspect risers following earlier discoveries of internal damage to a particular type of flexible pipe. These came to light during a planned inspection last fall – a similar program is in progress at the Visund field in the North Sea. In both cases, production was due to be phased in again following any necessary repairs or replacements.
Njord came back on line on April 16, but had to be shut down again on April 24 when manual measurements when the latest leak was detected during an automatic shutdown.
Statoil says the riser was quickly depressurized, with production (and the other risers) shut down in a controlled manner.