Statoil to Use Permanently Stationed Helicopter for Evacuation at Kristin

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has granted Statoil an exemption from Section 43 of the Facilities Regulations (Means of Evacuation) on Kristin and, under certain conditions, will allow use of a permanently stationed helicopter as a means of evacuation during the period August 24th through September 30, 2005.

On 21 June, a skid-launched lifeboat was damaged during a planned drop test on Veslefrikk B. Statoil's report revealed weaknesses in the cover. This led to an immediate decision to cease use of this type of free-fall lifeboat on Veslefrikk B, and production was shut down. Since the same type of skid-launched lifeboats are used on Kristin, these lifeboats were also immediately taken out of operation and manning on Kristin was reduced to a minimum.

In order to continue preparations for start-up of the Kristin field, Statoil applied for a temporary exemption from the regulatory requirements in Section 43 of the Facilities Regulations, which deal with means of evacuation, including free-fall lifeboats. Statoil wants to increase the number of persons on the facility beyond the safety manning by stationing a dedicated helicopter on board for emergency evacuation.

Based on Statoil's documentation and evaluations by the Civil Aviation Authority and the PSA, an exemption from the regulatory requirement will be granted for a limited period. Preconditions for the exemption include compensatory measures, such as:

  • The facility is in safe condition (gas-free and seaworthy)
  • SAR preparedness on Heidrun is reinforced through reduced mobilization time
  • Marine monitoring is reinforced (Sandsli)
  • A dedicated stand-by vessel (Ocean Fighter) is at Kristin
  • A helicopter is placed on the facility for evacuation of personnel.


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