Norwegian oil production halted on safety violation

Italian energy company Eni operates the Goliat field, with a design capacity of 100,000 barrels per day.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Nov. 13, 2017 at 7:22 AM
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Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Oil production from the Goliat floating platform in the Barents Sea is closed down because of regulatory violations, a safety authority in Norway said.

Authorities with the Petroleum Safety Authority in Norway carried out an audit of Eni operations at the Goliat floating production storage and offloading unit in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea. The audit was a follow-up of a survey of requirements related to the electricity facilities, particularly the person in charge.

"The audit report identified further breaches of the regulations," the regulator said in a statement

Production is idled until Eni satisfies concerns related to ignition-control services and other measures the PSA said could reduce the threat of ignition. There have been no reports of injury.

Norway is important for the European energy sector as one of its main oil and gas exporters. The country itself is party to the broader effort to address climate change. Goliat draws its electricity from a power cable tied to the mainland, which Eni said would reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, by as much as 50 percent.

Eni started producing oil at the Goliat field located about 50 miles northwest of Hammerfest in northern Norway in the ice-free waters of the Barents Sea early last year. The company said development comes from the unique application of a floating cylindrical production and storage vessel, which Eni said is the largest in the world.

Production from Goliat comes from 12 oil-producing wells. A peak rate of 100,000 barrels of oil per day is expected from a field estimated to hold around 180 million barrels of oil.

Eni needs to present a plan of remediation by Dec. 11 and comply with the order by March 1. The company had no public statement on the PSA order.

The Norwegian government has called on energy companies working in Arctic waters to observe requirements related to distance from ice sheets "so the environmental assets along the ice edge are safeguarded."

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