Oil Spill by Offshore Platform Statfjord A in North Sea, Norway

by OldSailor on December 13, 2007


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December 12

During oil offloading from the Statfjord A platform in the North Sea, about 4,000 standard cubic metres of crude oil was spilled into the sea on the morning of December 12 causing marine pollution. The Statfjord field is located around 200 kilometres west of Bergen, close to the border of the UK continental shelf. Statfjord was discovered by Mobil in 1974, and Statoil took over the operatorship on 01 January 1987. The field is likely to remain in production until 2019.

  • The spill near the Statfjord A platform occurred while the Navion Britannia shuttle tanker was taking on oil from a loading buoy.
  • NOFO (the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies) was notified about the spill and emergency actions to contain oil spill were initiated. An aircraft from the Norwegian Coastal Administration and a helicopter were deployed to determine the extent of the discharge. The size of the oil slick was 23 square kilometres.
  • An oil spill collection vessel arrived on Statfjord in the North Sea in the afternoon and a second is due to be in place on the field before midnight.
  • Two additional oil spill collection vessels are scheduled to arrive on the StatoilHydro-operated field on December 13th morning. For the time being, these four vessels – Havila Troll, Havila Runde, Stril Pioner and Far Star – will have to wait for the weather to improve.
  • Mechanical oil collection equipment cannot be deployed due to bad weather, with winds of about 45 knots and waves up to seven metres high. All the vessels are outfitted with mechanical systems provided by the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (Nofo), which comprise booms and skimmers. Havila Troll and Havila Runde are also fitted with dispersant equipment, and using this to help break down the oil is under consideration. Any use of chemicals will be agreed with the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority.
  • Observations from aircraft and helicopters indicate that the oil slick is currently about eight kilometres long by one wide. The oil is being driven by the wind towards the north, while the Norwegian coast is about 200 kilometres east of Statfjord.

December 13

  • The oil slick from the Statfjord oil spill is moving towards the north-east. According to StatoilHydro’s calculations it has reached the Snorre field in the North Sea.
  • StatoilHydro’s calculations suggest that the oil slick is dissolving and will not reach the coast. StatoilHydro experts have therefore decided not to apply chemical dispersants to the oil slick. The action management sticks to the primary goal of monitoring the area continuously and implementing mechanical clean-up measures once the weather permits.
  • During the night the weather conditions have remained unchanged in the North Sea. There are near gale conditions in the area, the wave height being between four and five metres. A meteorologist from Storm Weather Centre is monitoring the weather conditions on a continuous basis from StatoilHydro’s emergency organisation in Bergen. The last weather forecasts suggest that an improvement of the conditions can be expected during the night of December 14 at the earliest.
  • The rescue and recovery vessels Havila Troll and Havila Runde are monitoring the situation and will keep track of the oil slick movements. Two other vessels, Stril Pioner and Far Star, are expected to arrive to the relevant area in the North Sea in the morning. In addition four tugboats are mobilised for towing of oil booms.
  • Around midday, the vessel Edda Fonn will arrive on the field with a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) on board. Once the weather permits, the ROV will be used for examinations of the loading buoy and oil hose used during the loading of oil to the tanker Navion Britannia.
  • All vessels that take part in the action will make observations related to the environment and bird-life. Experts from SINTEF will start bird-life observations.
  • Observations made from aircraft show that the oil slick caused by spill is thin and currently near the Snorre field. According to the pilots who flew over the affected area, the oil slick is not thick and no emulsion has been observed on the surface.
  • The slick is currently about 10 kilometres long by five wide. Some minor slicks with traces of oil have also been observed.
  • Experts from the Sintef R&D group and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Nina) have been assigned to investigate the environmental impact by means of water column samples and mapping of bird-life in the area.

Here is the map of North Sea and location of Platform Statfjord A


Image Source:naturalsciences,statoilhydro

The spill site around Statfjord A.


Photo: Kystverket.

Photograph of Platform Statfjord A

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Update [Dec 14th 07]

The damaged hose that caused oil spill was photographed by ROV



Stril Pioner and seagoing booms at Gullfaks



Photo: Øyvind Hagen / StatoilHydro


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