Statoil Reduces Production from Statfjord C

Statoil has reduced production from Statfjord C because of a rusted pipe, but the North Sea platform is expected to be fully operational again within two days.

Daily output from the platform is cut back by 40-45,000 barrels from today, 22 January, reports Arve Sigve Nylund, operations vice president for Statfjord.

The normal level of production from the C platform is 175,000 barrels of crude per day. Located in a separator, the rusted section of pipe was discovered yesterday evening during a regular annual inspection.

It proved so corroded that the decision was taken to cut back production. The damage is not hard to repair, but obtaining and installing the correct pipe lengths will take time. "Although it was discovered by a routine inspection, and had not resulted in any leaks, the corrosion was fairly extensive," reports Mr. Nylund.

"This underlines the importance of good routines to stay updated at all times about the condition of platform systems. That's necessary in order to operate in an acceptable way."

He adds that the discovery of the rusted pipe section has had immediate consequences. A total assessment of the platform's inspection programs was launched today. "Given yesterday's discovery, we're considering measures which can be implemented to avoid such incidents.

"The question is how we can improve our inspection programs, and whether regular monitoring of the whole platform should be carried out more than once a year."