Statoil accepts fine for 2010 gas leak

June 3, 2013 at 7:05 AM

STAVANGER, Norway, June 3 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said it agreed to pay a $5.1 million penalty for a 2010 natural gas leak from a platform in the North Sea.

Statoil was under fire for operations at the Gullfaks platform in the North Sea in 2010. A gas leak occurred when a pipeline was being replaced. Production was shut down and the company said the chance that the gas would ignite was "low."

The company said it accepted a fine of $5.1 million from public prosecutors.

"The Gullfaks C incident has been thoroughly examined both by Statoil and other parties," the company said in a statement. "An extensive improvement program has been implemented throughout the company to ensure that learning is gained from the incident."

The Petroleum Safety Authority, the Norwegian regulator, said in 2011 the Gullfaks incident could've been severe under "slightly different" circumstances.

The PSA ordered Statoil to review and assess its compliance with federal safety laws related to well production at Gullfaks.

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