A North Sea evacuation has been ordered as impending storms and a lack of lifeboat capacity corner Statoil.
The Norwegian state run oil and gas major started evacuations yesterday from the giant Snorr B and Statfjord B platforms.
Storm And Lifeboats Corner Statoil
Statoil has been forced to order the evacuations as heavy storms are forecast to hit the area Friday 29th January; whilst ongoing maintenance has reduced the lifeboat capacity considerably across both platforms.
The combination of the two factors has ended in the evacuation of 209 offshore workers, mainly to other platforms.
Speaking to Offshore Post a Statoil spokesman said: “We are expecting a storm into the Norwegian continental shelf… so we are expecting some temporary adjustments on the Snorre B platform”
“We’re moving personnel to other installations in the area and we are also doing the same on the Statfjord field”
The Statoil spokesman added that maintenance on the two platform’s lifeboats is the main factor behind the move; saying that the moves were “Due to some capacity limits.”
He continued: “We doing an upgrade of the lifeboats, so we need to be sure we have the right amount of people aligned with the lifeboat capacity.”
North Sea Evacuation
Statoil’s official figures show they have so far down-manned the Snorre B platform from 109 to 44 and moved the 65 personnel across other nearby platforms.
The Statfjord B has also seen a down-manning of 150 offshore workers who have also been moved across nearby installations.
Statoil has also stopped all helicopter flights to offshore platforms and rigs within the North Sea during Friday.
The company’s spokesman said: “We are also doing some cancellations of helicopters from Bergen- in and out,” adding, “The helicopter suspensions will have to do with the weather.”