Statoil closing North Sea platform

Facility produced gas six years longer than planned.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   Sept. 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM
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STAVANGER, Norway, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said its Huldra platform, its first gravity-based system in the North Sea, is shutting down six years later than planned.

Gravity-based platforms are deployed typically in deep waters, where they float in place. Hudra is Statoil's first and it's closing down more than six years after initially planned.

The company said "in its golden days" the facility was producing more than 380 million cubic feet of natural gas from the North Sea.

"The project has considered the possibility of reusing the platform instead of scrapping it, and the platform was therefore put up for sale in 2011," the company said in a statement. "The project is still actively seeking a solution of reuse."

The platform will be maintained until another drilling rig, West Epsilon, arrives in 2016 to start shutting off undersea infrastructure.

"The field will not be fully decommissioned before 2019 and no later than 2021," Statoil said.

Norway is the largest oil and natural gas producer in Europe.

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