Norwegian oil company Noreco has announced that E.ON, the operator on the Huntington field in the UK North Sea, has informed its partners that production at the field will remain shut until issues related to the cargo tank venting system on board the platform at the field has been resolved. Norwegian Energy Company (Noreco) is partner and owns 20 per cent of the Huntington license.
The statement from the operator runs as follows:
“On Thursday 8th August, the UK Health and Safety Executive issued a Prohibition Notice on the duty holder Teekay Petrojarl relating to cargo tank venting activities during low wind conditions on the Voyageur Spirit, which is the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel for the Huntington Field in the UK North Sea. On a precautionary basis, E.ON E&P UK Limited, the operator, stopped production completely before HSE had issued its Prohibition Notice. E.ON E&P will ensure that the vessel is able to operate safely before any restart of operation is considered.
E.ON E&P is working closely with Teekay Petrojarl to resolve this issue. The priority for E.ON on behalf of the Huntington Joint Venture Partners is the safety of the personnel and ensuring that all risks have either been eliminated or minimised to as low level as practically possible. E.ON E&P is evaluating a production restart dependent on suitable weather conditions, possibly at a reduced rated until the issue with the cargo tank venting system is fully solved. Prior to the shutdown, Huntington was producing approximately 24,000 barrels of oil per day. Commissioning of the gas compression system is on-going and is expected to be completed by the end of next week.”
The operator along with the duty holder are taking a number of actions to assure that the gas venting system can be improved by revised operational procedures. If this can be achieved, it is Noreco’s understanding that production could resume next week. A permanent solution is currently scheduled for completion in late August.
“Noreco is now in the unfortunate situation that production from all fields in which we have an interest have been shut down. We are closely following the situation and have offered our support to the respective operators to ensure that production can resume as soon as possible, but the health and safety of the people on board and the environment take first priority”, says Svein Arild Killingland, managing director of Noreco.
The working interests in the Huntington field are E.ON E&P UK Ltd. (25% Operator), Premier Oil plc (40%), Noreco Oil UK (20%), and Iona Energy Inc. (15%).