Statoil has confirmed that its flagship Statfjord field, located in the Norwegian North Sea has spilled oil, whilst bunkering to a waiting oil tanker.
The Norwegian state oil and gas company Statoil said today that, at 0830 Oslo time, oil was observed close to the OLS B loading buoy in the Statfjord oil and gas field.
Statfjord OLS B
Oil is pumped from the nearby Statfjord A, B and C platforms to the OLS B loading buoy, to offload oil to waiting oil tankers.
At the time of the spill, oil was being bunkered onboard the Hilda Knutsen oil tanker. Statoil said that all oil bunkering operations were immediately stopped.
Further Statoil have confirmed that all pipelines to the OLS B loading buoy have now been closed, and that investigations are now under way.
A standby vessel, equipped with oil spill response equipment was already on location, and is assisting with the cleanup, as is a Norwegian SAR helicopter.
Statoil have confirmed that an anchor handling vessel equipped with an ROV is assisting with the investigation to the cause of the leak.
Early official estimates released by Statoil show around 40 cubic meters of crude oil have been spilled, although further investigations will give a more precise figure.
The Statfjord oil and gas field, is an elephant size field, straddling the UK Norwegian North Sea boarder, with 85% in Norway.
Statfjord came on stream in 1979, and at its peak produced 700,000 barrels of oil per day, and has been operated by Statoil since 1987.
The latest oil spill is Statfjord’s second to date. In 2007, whilst carrying out the same oil bunkering operations as today, around 21,750 barrels of oil were spilled in to the North Sea.
Then, the oil tanker, the Navion Britannica was on location at the OLS B loafing buoy. The resulting oil spill was put down to the North Sea’s rough weather.
The 2007 oil spill is Norway’s second largest offshore oil spill in history.