PSA outlines causes of unplanned shutdown of Eldfisk offshore Norway

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway has issued its findings on two incidents last August at the Eldfisk complex in the North Sea.

One was the activation of the highest emergency shutdown level (yellow ESD – abandon platform) on Aug. 6, 2014.

This led to a total loss of power and all systems being shut down on the Eldfisk A, Eldfisk FTP and Embla installations, while Eldfisk E lost main power.

PSA says the ESD was unplanned, and was caused by a combination of technical failure of an electronic component and a design error.

When production re-started, a blowdown valve remained in the open position. It should have been reset to the closed position as part of the start-up procedure.

That caused produced oil to flow into the flare system, on into the drain system and from there into the sea.

At dawn the following day oil was observed on the sea surface, but production was not shut down until 1:30 p.m. that day. The volume of oil spilled is estimated at around 50-70 cu m (1,766-2,472 cu ft).

PSA’s investigation identified several breaches of regulations. Some of the technical problems related to the condition of the Eldfisk FTP at the time – this facility has since been shut down and now functions primarily as a means of bridge support.

Operator ConocoPhillips must respond on how it intends to deal with the nonconformities.


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