Shell Re-Start of Draugen Approved

Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has granted Shell an exemption from the regulations regarding Draugen so that the facility may resume operations. No reason has been found to revoke the decision on the refusal to grant an exemption for Statoil-operated Snorre A.

On October 12th the PSA rejected the application from Shell-operated Draugen and Statoil-operated Snorre A for an exemption from Section 43 of the Facilities Regulations, concerning evacuation facilities.

Over the weekend, Shell has supplied additional information which describes further compensatory measures, including installation of new release mechanisms for manual lowering of the lifeboats. In addition, the Draugen personnel have carried out intensive training/drills in lowering lifeboats to sea.

Based on a new overall assessment of all the submitted documentation, we find grounds to revoke our previous decision.

The exemption applies until the lifeboats have been repaired and the installation's personnel can be evacuated in accordance with the stipulations in the regulations, by December 1, 2006 at the latest.

Statoil has also submitted new information on compensatory measures for insufficient lifeboats at Snorre A. The PSA, however, does not find grounds to revoke its previous decision for this facility.

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