By Phaedra Friend Troy
Update: Information from Statoil
Volcanic ash is spreading across Northern Europe from a volcanic eruption in Iceland, cancelling all flights, including helicopter flights to offshore installations in the North Sea.
According to a report from the BBC, flights across Northern Europe have been disrupted, including aviation travel in Norway, Britain, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. Airspace over the North Sea has been closed.
Offshore Disturbance in the North Sea
While air transportation to and from offshore installations in the North Sea has been stopped, oil and natural gas production continues.
“Helicopter transport to and from our installations is temporarily halted,” Ola Morten Aanestad, vice president of media relations for Statoil, told PennEnergy. “Safety is maintained, operational activities and production have not been affected. We are following the situation closely.”
NAT UK first announced on Wednesday that the cloud may hamper aviation travel, and by Thursday morning in the UK, flights were restricted for safety reasons.
The volcanic ash poses a safety threat because it can damage aircraft engines. Currently, all flights in the UK are grounded until Friday morning.