STAVANGER, Norway – Statoil confirms that 326 personnel have been evacuated from the accommodation support rig Floatel Superior, which has been operating alongside the Njord A platform in the Norwegian Sea.
Early yesterday morning, a hole was discovered in one of the rig’s ballast tank, thought to have been caused by an anchor. Water seepage led to a 3-4° tilt that was quickly rectified, and rig stability was re-established. The rig has been disconnected from the Njord platform.
Three helicopters have been transferring the crew to Njord A, followed by onward transport to a reception center in Kristiansund. Forty-eight staff remain onboard the rig performing emergency duties ahead of removal of the structure from the safety zone around Njord A.
Statoil has mobilized its emergency response organization, with six helicopters and an emergency response vessel assisting the rig. In addition, an anchor handling vessel will head to the site to inspect the damage, after which the rig will be towed to land.
A planned maintenance shutdown was in progress on Njord A that involved upgrading of the process plant and other projects. No processing or drilling was under way.
Floatel Superior is operated by Floatel International. Petroleum Safety Authority Norway says it will initiate an investigation.