Offshore Oil Remains at Risk in the Arctic

Published at 04:30PM - 09/09/16

Offshore oil production has been hit further as Eni Norge is pushed improve operations at the Goliat Arctic field, shut down and evacuated over a power failure in August.

The development has been hit by a series of issues since it started producing oil in March, but the recent power outage in end-August led the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to question safety in Arctic developments.

“We are comfortable that the facility remains shut down and with the answers we’ve received from Eni Norge so far. We will not speculate about the timing of a restart,” says Anne Myhrvold, director general of the PSA.

Offshore Oil Remains at Risk in the Arctic

Myhrvold added that Eni Norge would brief the PSA about safety conditions on the platform before Goliat resumes production.

According to the statement issued by the PSA, Eni decided the field will remain shut until measures are implemented and management and workers agree the platform can be operated prudently.

Offshore Oil Remains at Risk in the Arctic
The Goliat FPSO was hit by a power outage in end-August

“Eni briefed the PSA at the meeting about the work under way about the power failure and plans about the full review of the safety position on the facility,” the PSA informed.

The power outage was the second problem faced by the platform in three months, following a gas leak and smoke detected in a generator.

Additionally, in June, the PSA had launched an investigation into an accident where a worker was hit by a steel wire and lifted by helicopter with a head injury.

The Word’s Northernmost Offshore Oil Field Remains Shut 

The Goliat field is owned by Eni (65%) and Statoil (35%). It is the world’s northernmost offshore oil field, with a capacity to pump 100,000 barrels per day.

Despite Norway’s plans to boost flagging production by tapping the Arctic, the recent setbacks on the Goliat field are showing rising opposition to drilling in the Barents Sea.

This comes as oil companies are trying to expand exploration in the remote region as production is declining and have been trying to demonstrate that operating in the Barents is safe and profitable.

Trade unions have been concerned about safety at Goliat and the government has called for Eni to guarantee safe operations.