Statoil’s investigation of Statfjord oil spill gets through audit with flying colors

A trio of Norwegian regulatory agencies has found no non-conformities nor improvement points during an audit of Statoil’s follow-up of the investigation of an oil spill on the Statfjord field off Norway in 2015.

Norway’s offshore safety regulator, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), teamed up with the Norwegian Coastal Administration and the Norwegian Environment Agency to work on the audit of Statoil’s follow-up.

The three organizations found no issues during the audit of Statoil’s follow-up of the investigation of the oil spill from the Offshore Loading System B (OLS B) loading buoy.

To remind, the spill occurred during loading of crude from the Statoil-operated Statfjord A platform to the Hilda Knutsen shuttle tanker on October 8, 2015. An estimated six to seven cubic meters of oil leaked to the sea from the loading hose.

Wind and waves quickly broke down the slick and contributed to the natural dispersion of the oil in the water column. According to the PSA’s report from September 2016, the spill occurred as a result of corrosion in one segment of the loading hose.

The incident was investigated both by the operator, Statoil, and by the three regulatory agencies between October 9, 2015, and September 22, 2016.

The PSA said on Friday that the audit of Statoil’s follow-up of the incident was carried out in May 2017.

The object of the audit was to examine how Statoil has implemented and complied with the recommendations and measures identified in the company’s investigation and in the investigation that the authorities undertook.

The audit, in partnership with the Norwegian Coastal Administration and the Norwegian Environment Agency, was conducted in the form of a meeting with representatives responsible for the operation and maintenance of loading systems, and representatives of the company’s emergency preparedness organization.

In October 2016, a year later after the spill, the Statfjord A had another incident in the form of a fire on the platform’s utility shaft during transfer of oil from the platform’s storage cells to a shuttle tanker. One of the loading pumps continued to operate because a shaft in the circuit breaker intended to shut off power to its motor suffered a fatigue fracture.

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