The operator of the Maari oil-field, OMV New Zealand, has ceased oil production and is de-manning the Maari wellhead platform as a precautionary measure, while it deals with a crack found in one of the platform’s horizontal struts.
“The crack is about 1.4 metres long, on the third level down, and four metres below the waterline. It was identified this week, and came to light as a result of scheduled underwater checks of the platform which began on November 1,” Gabriel Selischi, OMV’s senior vice-president for Australasia, said.
“We have taken expert external advice which confirms there is no risk to people or the environment. There are 12 horizontal struts and the six levels of the structure are supported by four structural legs, consolidated by 20 vertical cross-members. So the platform is very flexible, and has a high level of built-in redundancy,” he added.
Thirteen of the 34 staff left the wellhead platform Wednesday, Selischi stated, with the rest of the staff scheduled to leave Thursday and Friday.
“Production was due to be shut in on 5 December in any event to allow for the completion of a water injection flowline installation, so support vessels and equipment will shortly be on hand,” Selischi said.
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