Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority has issued an order to Statoil following the investigation of a potentially fatal hydrocarbon leak at its Gudrun facility in the North Sea.
The investigation identified serious breaches of the regulations.
The PSA stated: “under marginally different circumstances, the incident could have resulted in a major accident with loss of life, substantial material damage and impacts on the marine environment”.
The hydrocarbon leak occurred on 18 February 2015.
The PSA said the cause of the incident was a leak from a rupture in a 2″ pipe in the bypass line directly downstream of the first-stage separator.
The initial leak rate was estimated by Statoil at 8 kg/s. Condensate from the first-stage separator leaked to the open air.
The total emission/discharge is estimated at 2,800 kg (4 cubic metres) of condensate and more than 1 cubic metre is estimated to have been discharged into the sea. The leak on Gudrun is regarded as one of the larger hydrocarbon escapes recorded on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) over the past decade.
The incident did not cause any injuries to persons.
Statoil has been ordered to ensure the management of health, safety and the environment in the operation of Gudrun comprises those activities necessary for identifying, risk-assessing and processing signals from operational process facilities and to implement requisite measures.
It has also been ordered to ensure knowledge and necessary information from key technical experts is communicated in a systematic and appropriate manner to operations and made use of in all phases.
The deadline for complying with the order is set at 1 June 2016.