PSA serves order to Statoil over North Sea Gudrun leak

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway has issued an order to Statoil following a hydrocarbon leak last month at the Gudrun platform in the North Sea.

An investigation identified serious breaches of regulations, PSA says.

The leak resulted from a rupture in a 2-in. pipe in the bypass line directly downstream of the first-stage separator. Statoil estimated the initial leak rate at 8 kg/s, with condensate from the separator leaking to the open air.

Total emission/discharge is estimated at 2,800 kg (4 cu m) of condensate and more than 1 cu m (35.3 cu ft) is thought to have been discharged into the sea.

PSA views the leak as one of the larger hydrocarbon escapes recorded on the Norwegian continental shelf over the past decade. Although no crew members suffered injuries, it adds, the incident could have escalated into a major accident leading to loss of life, substantial material damage, and impacts on the marine environment.

Statoil has been ordered to ensure that the management of health, safety, and the environment in the operation of Gudrun comprises those activities necessary for identifying, risk-assessing and processing signals from operational process facilities and to implement requisite measures.

Furthermore, the company must ensure that knowledge and necessary information from key technical experts is communicated in a systematic and appropriate manner to operations, and to ensure that such information is made use of in all phases.
Deadline for compliance is June 1.


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