During oil offloading from the Statfjord A platform in the North Sea, about 4400 cubic metres of crude oil was spilled into the sea on the morning of December 12, 2007. The oil spill was due to rupture of loading hose.
An investigation team appointed by StatoilHydro’s management to identify the causes of the oil spill has submitted their report. The report highlights:
- Root cause: is due to inadequate use of process and risk analysis in connection with modifications and change of loading hose.
- Reasons for the loading hose rupture: Rupture in the hydraulic hose of the vessel Navion Britannia caused the vessel’s coupler valve to close quicker than expected. This resulted in a strong pressure surge in the loading hose and ruptured the loading hose.
- Inadequate knowledge of personnel: The resumption of the loading operation after the rupture of the hydraulic hose to the coupler valve was mainly due to inadequate knowledge by the involved personnel of its consequences.
- Inadequate oil flow measurement on board the tanker: The failure to discover the oil spill before approx. 4400 m3 had been spilled was mainly due to inadequate oil flow measurement on board the tanker.
- a similar incident on the Gullfaks field in 2004 has not been adequately followed up.
The investigation team has recommended a number of actions to be taken pertaining to technical, organisational and managerial nature
- within StatoilHydro
- the shipowner Teekay
- the system supplier APL
Failures or accidents do happen by mistakes and we need to learn from mistakes. OldSailor hopes that this report helps to avoid similar incidents in future.
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