Weld fracture caused North Sea gas leak

Production remains closed at the Gjoa platform in Norwegian waters following an incident late Wednesday.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  June 23, 2017 at 8:25 AM
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June 23 (UPI) -- French energy company ENGIE said Friday it identified a fracture of a weld on a pipe as cause for a leak from its Gjoa platform in the North Sea this week.

No injuries were reported after an incident on the platform in Norwegian waters late Wednesday. In an update on the situation, the exploration and production arm of the French energy company said no contamination of the surrounding environment occurred.

"The direct cause of the leak is now identified to be a fracture in a weld on a 3/4" pipe associated with a condensate pump," the company said in a statement.

The French energy company said 49 people were on the platform at the time of the incident and 19 were taken away by helicopter to a nearby support center. The company said Friday that "some of these employees" were back on the platform working to return operations to normal.

"The company is now in dialogue with the relevant authorities," its statement read. "An internal investigation group is now being established."

Production remains closed. The French energy company made a discovery near the existing Gjoa field last year. The Norwegian government confirmed the discovery in the wildcat Cara well, a well drilled into an area not previously known to contain oil or natural gas, and said the new discovery holds up to 69 million barrels of oil equivalent reserves.

Apart from Russia, Norway is the leading oil and natural gas supplier to the European economy.

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