Statoil Accepts Gullfaks C Fine

Statoil reported Friday that it has accepted a fine of $5.1 million in relation to the well control incident on the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea in May 2010. The fine is the second-largest environmental fine in the history of Norway after the Snorre A disaster in 2004.

The fine was issued earlier this year after regulators deemed that Statoil broke petroleum laws by losing control of an oil well at Gullfaks C. The incident involved a hole in a pipe that allowed drilling fluid to leak into the reservoir formation, which then caused an influx of gas from the reservoir being detected on the platform. Personnel were mustered to safety stations as a result of the incident.

The incident could have turned into a major accident under "slightly different" circumstances, Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority stated in February 2011.

As well as stating that it has decided to accept the fine, Statoil added Friday that the Gullfaks C incident has now been thoroughly examined and that an extensive improvement program has been implemented through the company to take on board lessons learned from the incident.


A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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