Statoil (NYSE:STO) reported that production on the Njord platform was shut down on April 24 as a result of operational problems with gaskets in a gas export compressor. Later the same day, during work to resume production, a gas leak was discovered in one of the risers.
All production on the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea was immediately shut down and will remain shut down until the cause of the leak has been determined.
Production at the Njord field has been shut down since April 1 as a safety measure, while inspection of risers is carried out after earlier discoveries of internal damage to a particular type of flexible pipe.
The first instances of damage were discovered during a planned inspection last autumn, and an inspection programme was initiated which is now being carried out. Riser inspection is also being carried out at the Visund field.
Risers are the pipes that convey oil and gas from the seabed to the installation, and consist of several layers of plastic and steel. Production at Njord and Visund is planned to be phased in again in due course as inspection of the risers confirms that they are in order, or after they have been repaired or replaced.
The Njord field resumed partial production on April 16, but was shut down again on April 24 when manual measurements during a work operation revealed a gas leak from one of the risers after an automatic shutdown. The well was contained when the leak occurred.
The riser in which the leak was discovered was quickly depressurised, and production and the other risers were shut down in a controlled manner.
The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has been informed of the incident.
Shutdown delays production from the field. The total field production for Njord is around 70,000 barrels of oil equivalents (oe).
Risers on all installations are subject to constant monitoring and routine inspections in accordance with applicable inspection program.
The Njord oil and gas field is located on Blocks 6407/7 and 6407/10 about 130 kilometers northwest of Kristiansund offshore Norway. The Njord field has been developed with a floating steel platform, Njord A, which has an integrated deck with drilling and processing facilities, as well as living quarters.