Statoil will shut down its Statfjord C platform, located in the Norwegian part of the North Sea, due to cracks discovered on the flare tower.
According to Aftenbladet, a Stavanger-based newspaper, the crack on the flare tip was discovered a little over a week ago when an unusual flame from the tip was spotted. Helicopter and drone inspection determined that there was a crack on the flare tip. Flare tip is the outermost part of the flare tower, a system to burn off gas for safety reasons.
The system is operational, but it is under surveillance. Furthermore, operational measures are introduced in order to avoid activity that increases the need for flaring on Statfjord C.
The flare tip is scheduled for replacement in March at which point the platform will be shut down for twelve days.
Offshore Energy Today reached out to Statoil seeking further info regarding Statfjord C shut down. However, we have yet to receive the company’s response.
Update: 27/02/2015, 11:15 CET
Statoil’s spokesperson confirmed that Statfjord C platform will be shut down in March in order to replace the flare tip.
The spokesperson said: “Last weekend we carried out technical inspections of the Statfjord C flare tip after we had observed an unusual flame pattern from the flare tip. After a drone inspection we ascertained a crack 2 meters from the top. Material inspections and evaluations of its structural intergrity confirms that its fully operative. Production is running as normal, but during March we’ll have a 12 days production shutdown to replace the flare tip.”
The spokesperson also added: “Until then we are carrying out a monitoring programme where we conduct regular visual inspections to follow its status. These visual inspections are carried out from installation and by support from helicopter. We have also initiated operational measures that focus on avoiding activities that can lead to instability in the plant and increase probability for increased flaring.”
Statfjord is one of the oldest producing fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, and the largest oil discovery in the North Sea. It was discovered by Mobil in 1974, and Statoil took over the operatorship on January 1, 1987.
The field has been developed with the Statfjord A, B and C production platforms, which all have concrete gravity base structures incorporating storage cells. Statfjord C began production on June 26, 1985.
According to Statoil’s data, roughly 80 000 barrels of oil per day are produced by the Statfjord Unit licence group, which unites all the licences and includes all three Statfjord platforms and satellite fields tied in to Statfjord C.
Offshore Energy Today Staff