Talisman Finds Cracks in Norway Yme Platform, Evacuates Workers

Talisman Energy Inc. has evacuated construction personnel from its Yme oil platform in the Norwegian North Sea after structural issues were discovered, a spokeswoman said.

The Calgary-based international oil and gas producer removed 140 workers from the Yme platform late Tuesday after finding weaknesses in the platform's supporting structure.

"There are cracks in the cement grouting of the supporting structure," Talisman spokeswoman Phoebe Buckland said. The cracks can be fixed, but Talisman felt it was prudent to remove personnel until the issue has been investigated further, she said.

The Yme oil platform offshore of the coast of Norway has been problematic for Talisman. In May, the company took a $250 million writedown on the project and delayed production for an unspecified amount of time. It also said the standards to which the platform had been built had fallen behind Norwegian standards.

Talisman, which has incurred about $1.35 billion in project construction costs, valued Yme at nearly $900 million before the writedown in May. Oil production was scheduled to start next year.

The Yme project is being constructed by Netherlands-based SBM Offshore N.V. SBM shares fell 6.6% in European trading after news of the evacuation broke. Talisman shares were down 0.9% to C$11.07 recently on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


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