Gangway detaches at Statoil’s Mariner field amid worsening weather conditions

Mariner A platform, Safe Boreas flotel, and Noble Lloyd Noble rig; Image: Statoil/Jamie Baikie

A gangway connecting Statoil-operated Mariner A platform with an accommodation rig disconnected last night, prompting the oil giant to transfer some of its workers to another installation by helicopter.

Discovered more than thirty years ago, the Mariner heavy oil field is located about 150 kilometers east of the Shetland Islands. The field’s recoverable reserves were estimated at 250 million barrels of oil.

Statoil confirmed on Thursday that an automatic disconnection of the gangway between the Safe Boreas accommodation vessel and the Mariner A platform was reported at 23:45 on Wednesday, December 6.

“All personnel are safe and no injuries were sustained,” a spokesperson for Statoil told Offshore Energy Today.

Following the disconnection, 36 personnel were transferred this morning by helicopter from the Noble Lloyd Noble jack-up rig to the Safe Boreas flotel, the spokesperson added. Four remaining personnel are to be transferred onshore due to worsening weather conditions.

Namely, a developing area of low-pressure, which brought gales to parts of northern and western Scotland on Thursday morning, has been named Storm Caroline.

The UK’s Met Office has issued Amber Warning for the far north of Scotland with gusts widely expected of around 70-80mph and 90mph in more exposed areas. This has forced another offshore operator, CNR International, to evacuate around 70 workers from its Ninian Southern platform.

The spokesperson for Statoil also added that at the time the incident with the gangway happened, there were 579 personnel across the three installations located in the Mariner field: the Mariner A platform, Noble Corporation-owned Noble Lloyd Noble jack-up rig and Prosafe-owned Safe Boreas accommodation vessel.

The final investment decision for the Mariner development was taken in December 2012, entailing a gross investment of more than £4.5 billion ($6.02B).

The development of the Mariner field will contribute more than 250 mmbbls reserves with average plateau production of around 55,000 barrels per day. The field will provide a long term cash-flow over 30 years. Production is expected to start in 2018.

Statoil is the operator of the Mariner field with 65.11% equity. Co-venturers are J.X. Nippon (20%), Siccar Point Energy (8.89%) and Dyas (6%).

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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