Norway Issues Order to Norsk Hydro on Barents Sea Drilling

Barents Sea Production License 233
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In connection with the drilling activity being carried out by the Eirik Raude facility in the Barents Sea, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has recorded two incidents involving technical malfunctions with subsequent accidental spills. On 17 February, we issued an order to Ocean Rig requiring a review of the quality of all necessary barriers before the operation can resume, to ensure that prudent operations are safeguarded.

Norsk Hydro is ordered to ensure that Ocean Rig, which owns and operates the Eirik Raude, has implemented the above review before operations are resumed.

On 8 February, the facility discharged six cubic meters of water-based BOP fluid (water-based fluid for operation of valves). On 16 February, four cubic meters of water-based drilling mud leaked into the sea after a coupling on the air supply to the packer element on the telescopic joint on the riser was broken.

"By themselves, the discharges are not regarded as being harmful to the environment. Nevertheless, the authorities take a serious view of the incidents. We believe that it is both important and necessary to contribute to ensure that the preconditions for activities in the Barents Sea are complied with, including avoiding accidental discharges to sea, or other undesirable incidents," says Magne Ognedal, Director General of the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.


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