A substantial escape of hydrocarbons occurred on the Ula field in the Norwegian North Sea on 12 September. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has decide to investigate this incident.
No people were injured and no damage caused to the installation beyond the equipment directly involved. But the PSA considers the incident to have had a substantial potential.
The leak arose in the separator module on Ula’s production platform (PP). Nobody was in the module when the incident occurred.
While the facility was automatically shut down, all personnel on the installation were evacuated to the drilling platform (DP). Production on Ula has been suspended for the time being.
One reason why the PSA has resolved to conduct an investigation is the substantial potential involved in the incident.
Objectives include establishing the course of events and identifying the direct and underlying causes. The resulting report will be published on the PSA’s website.
The Ula oil field lies in Norway’s North Sea sector and has three conventional steel platforms for production, drilling and quarters. These are linked by bridges. BP is the operator.
Press Release, September 18, 2012; Image: BP