Eni gets okay to bring Barents Sea oil field back into service

A Norwegian safety regulator had called for the shutdown of operations at the Goliat field, which has a peak rate of around 100,000 barrels per day.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Dec. 11, 2017 at 7:46 AM
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Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Italian energy company Eni can bring its Goliat field in the Barents Sea back online now that it has addressed safety concerns, a regulator said.

Production at the Goliat field was idled by a Norwegian government order in October. Eni was called on to satisfy concerns related to ignition-control services and other measures the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway said could reduce the threat of ignition. There have been no reports of injury.

The PSA said in a statement that Eni has now complied with the order and can put the field back on stream.

"A basic principle of Norway's petroleum regulations is that each company is responsible for the safety of its own activities," the regulator stressed. "The necessary detailed knowledge, decision-making authority and not least resources to ensure implementation of and compliance with the regulatory requirements rest with the individual player."

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.

Production at Goliat started early last year. The field is located about 50 miles northwest of Hammerfest in northern Norway in the ice-free waters of the Barents Sea. 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.

The company had no public statement on the PSA order. It met the deadline for submitting a plan for remediation imposed by the safety regulator.

The Norwegian government reported average daily production for October, the last full month for which data are available, was 1.54 million barrels of oil. That level was about 4.5 percent less than expected and attributed in part to an idled Goliat field.

The preliminary estimates for October, however, were about 7 percent higher than final figures from September.

Norway is important to Europe as it sends nearly all of what it produces offshore to the export market.

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