Norway’s Safety Regulator Slam Conoco Over Eldfisk Oil Spill

Published at 11:57AM - 20/08/15

Norway’s offshore safety regulator, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), have released their report into the 2014 Eldfisk oil spill.

The report will come as uncomfortable reading to operators ConocoPhillips, who have been asked by the PSA to come back with a respond on how it intends to ‘deal with the nonconformities’.

In its investigation, the PSA found that the oil spill was caused by an emergency shut down valve (ESD) being left in an open position by production technicians.

Timeline Of Events

The entire Eldfisk offshore complex had originally shut down on the mooring of the 6th August 2014 after the failure of an electrical component.

The shutdown that was initiated was seen as an emergency to the second highest level, which warrants the abandonment of the platform.

The event subsequently shutdown all mains power causing total systems loss to the wider Eldfisk complex, including Eldfsk A; Embla and Eldfisk FTP.

Once made safe, the production technicians carried out a successful restart of the complex later that day.

During the startup procedure an ESD that had opened correctly during the emergency shutdown was mistakenly left in that position, allowing oil to flow back through pipework and eventually leak to sea.

The PSA investigation found that oil was first spotted on the surface of the surrounding sea at around dawn on the morning of the 7th, however the platform was not shut down until 1330 later the same day.

Estimates by the PSA have put the spill at around 50 to 70 m3.

 

PSA Findings

The PSA has said that it found ‘several breaches’ connected to the incident and the Eldfisk offshore complex, with many ‘nonconformities’ of the Eldfisk FTP platform.

ConocoPhillips have since shut down the Eldfisk FTP, although it remains in position to act as a bridge support.

The PSA is now awaiting a response from ConocoPhillips.