Leak Discovered at Draugen Platform

Shell reports that it has closed its Draugen platform offshore Norway after a leak was discovered. The platform produces 180,000 bpd and is located in production license 093 on block 6407/9. A robot submarine has been dispatched and is seeking the cause of the leak, possibly in a pipeline between the platform and a loading buoy in approximately 820 feet of water. An oil slick about one mile long had been spotted on the surface near the platform just before midnight on Monday, leading to the shutdown, the company said.

"We don't know the cause of the leak. When we find it and isolate it we will be able to resume production," Norske Shell spokesman Svein Ildgruben said, declining to predict how long it might take.

He said that a vessel with skimmers was in the area to clean up oil and that waves and wind seemed to be breaking up the slick. There was no immediate threat to land, 90 miles away, Ildgruben added.