Statoil investigates Gullfaks incident

Feb. 17, 2011 at 9:28 AM
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STAVANGER, Norway, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said it was implementing "necessary measures" to ensure natural gas production in the North Sea is safe.

Statoil is under fire for operations at the Gullfaks platform in the North Sea. A gas leak was reported in December and the company said it submitted an internal investigation into the matter to the Petroleum Safety Authority in Norway.

Statoil said the December 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."

A similar accident caused a fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last year, sinking the platform and causing one of the worst oil disasters in the history of the industry.

Gunnar Nakken, a Statoil official in charge of Gullfaks, said in a statement that his company took the December incident very seriously and was moving forward with improvement efforts.

"We have identified improvement areas within management, our competence and within technical areas," he said. "A dedicated project headed by the operative line has been set up to implement the necessary measures."

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