STATOIL was forced to shut down operations aboard the Deepsea Atlantic semi-submersible drilling rig on February 10, owing to a gas-related incident which forced the crew to muster.
The Norwegian company said that the exploration well being completed on block 34/10 of the Norwegian sector of the North Sea had been shutdown for a week due to bad weather conditions.
But when the rig’s blow-out preventer (BOP) was opened after the closure and mud circulated, gas was registered in the mud-processing unit.
According to Statoil the well control system was then immediately closed down in line with procedures. The gas in the well was circulated in a controlled manner and both well barriers were re-established.
The company reported the incident to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway and said that it would “closely examine” the incident. While it led to the crew being mustered for evacuation, normalisation efforts on the rig were successful.