Order Issued To StatoilHydro Following Crude Oil Spill On Statfjord

A ruptured loading hose on Statfjord A (operator StatoilHydro) on 12 December last year led to the second-largest oil spill in Norwegian petroleum history. Following the investigation the PSA issued an order to StatoilHydro, as previously notified.

The ruptured loading hose led to 4400 cubic metres of crude oil being pumped into the sea. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority and the Norwegian National Coastal Administration have previously investigated the incident (link). We have identified several deviations from the health, safety and environmental regulations in parts of StatoilHydro's management system.

Deficient designation of responsibilities, deficient understanding of risks and defects in the loading system design were among the underlying causes of the ruptured loading hose.

The order entails that the company must consider all the observations in the report and identify proposals for specific improvements with schedules for implementation.

Pursuant to the authority granted by section 3 of the management regulations concerning the management of health, safety and the environment and section 5 of the framework regulations concerning responsibility according to these regulations, confer section 58 of the framework regulations concerning individual decisions, StatoilHydro is ordered to carry out a review of all observations in chapter 6 of the report in respect of its own management system.

This review must clarify responsibilities in the units concerned as well as the interface between units for the total loading system, including responsibilities when loading operations are being carried out; identify weaknesses in preparing, implementing and complying with relevant governing documents; produce proposals for specific improvements, with binding timetables for executing these.

The deadline for compliance with the order is set at 1 June 2008. We must be notified when the order has been complied with.