PSA assesses lessons from North Sea Gullfaks subsea leak

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has investigated Statoil’s response to a leak in a subsea control cable associated with the wet gas compression system at Gullfaks Sør in the North Sea.

Subsea compression started at the field in late 2015. The gas is transported through a 15-km (9.3-mi) long pipeline to the Gullfaks C platform for processing.

As the pressure in the reservoir falls, the facilities will help maintain production and maximize use of the field’s reserves.

Operations are managed from Gullfaks C using a control cable on the seabed, which carries electrical power, signals, and chemicals through a shared outer sleeve. 

Following a chemical spill from the cable, the PSA performed an audit of Statoil’s follow-up of the incident, and the design engineering and manufacture of a new control cable.

This took the form of meetings last fall at Statoil in Bergen and at the cable supplier Nexans’ manufacturing plant in Halden.

The audit detected no regulatory non-conformities, but the team identified areas for improvement related to remits, authorities, and the division of responsibilities.

Statoil has been given a deadline of Feb. 7 to report on how it will assess the improvement points.


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