The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) and the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) will conduct a joint investigation of the discharge to sea of hydraulic oil from the Eirik Raude in connection with exploration drilling in the Barents Sea on April 12th. The exploration activity has been temporarily halted, and will not be resumed until Statoil and Ocean Rig have clarified why the leak occurred, and can confirm that necessary measures have been implemented so that further operations can be conducted in a safe and environmentally prudent manner.
In a meeting with Statoil and Ocean Rig today, the PSA and SFT emphasized that the authorities take a very serious view of the April 12th discharge, not least since this is the third discharge from the facility during the course of the winter drilling campaign in the Barents Sea.
According to Statoil, the discharge amounted to a total of about 1.6 cubic meters of hydraulic oil. The cause of the incident is probably a leak from a hydraulic hose. After the discharge, Statoil itself decided to stop drilling on the Guovca exploration well.
Work to appoint a joint PSA/SFT investigation team is underway, and the investigation itself will start as soon as practically feasible.
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