Norsk Hydro Will Ensure Eirik Raude Meets Demands

Hydro supports and will follow up the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's order and ensure that Ocean Rig conducts a thorough evaluation of spill barriers on the semisub Eirik Raude before drilling resumes in the Barents Sea.

Exploration drilling on the Eirik Raude rig was stopped on Wednesday, February 16, after an accidental spill of drilling fluids into the sea.

"Hydro will ensure that the drilling rig, Eirik Raude, meets the authorities and the company's technical and environmental demands concerning the present drilling operation in the Barents Sea. The company supports the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's wish for an additional inspection of the rig's spill barriers and will ensure that a thorough evaluation will be carried out before drilling resumes," says Hydro Oil & Energy, Operations head, Øystein Michelsen.

There have been two minor spills from Eirik Raude during the present drilling operation in the Barents Sea during the past two weeks. Both discharges consisted mainly of organic, biodegradable matter, and were reported to the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. The spills did not result in any environmental consequences.