A gas leak was detected late Monday near the Curlew FPSO, in the Curlew Field, located in the Central North Sea, 220 kilometres east of Aberdeen, Scotland.
According to Evening Express, Shell, the operator of the Curlew field, and the UK authorities are investigating the leak, after „bubbling at the surface of the sea“ several hundred meters from the FPSO was reported.
According to the newspaper, there is a possibility that the FPSO struck a pipe on the nearby gas line.
Evening Express further cited the company’s spokesperson who said that Shell would evacuate non-essential personnel from the floating production storage and offloading unit.
Offshore Energy Today has sent e-mails to Shell and the Health and Safety Executive, and is awaiting more information on the matter.
Update: January 21, 21:36 CET
In response to an Offshore Energy Today e-mail seeking more information into the reported Curlew FPSO gas leak, Health and Safety Executive had this to say: “HSE is aware of this incident and is making initial inquiries.”
Also, World Maritime News, our sister website, managed to get a response from Shell in which the company confirmed that a release of gas occurred from infrastructure near the FPSO late on Monday, January 19, 2015.
The company’s spokesperson said that initial indications were that the escape had occurred from the subsea infrastructure close to the FPSO, which is connected to the Fulmar Gas Line exporting gas to the St Fergus terminal.
The spokesperson said: “Specialist divers from the Bibby Polaris – Dive Support Vessel (DSV) are currently on site to close two valves which will isolate the Curlew FPSO from the Fulmar pipeline. In addition another detailed investigation of the isolated infrastructure, adjacent to Curlew, will be undertaken by the Normand Subsea with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
Once our initial investigation is complete into the cause of the gas escape, and we believe it is safe to do so, we will recommence gas export from the various producers connected to the Fulmar Gas line to the St Fergus Gas Plant.
All personnel are safe and accounted for. The relevant authorities have been informed.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff