A major natural gas leak shut down the Norwegian Visund offshore oil and natural gas platform
, AP reported. No one was injured in the incident, but 17 of 91 crew members aboard were flown to a nearby North Sea platform by helicopter as a precaution when gas and fire alarms sounded. It was a major leak, but that strong winds kept the gas away from the platform itself.
Gas leaks on offshore platforms can cause catastrophic explosions and fires, often far from shore, and the agency said it was investigating the incident.
Visund was the sixth Statoil-operated field suffering problems this week. The total lost production is 250,000 barrels per day of oil and condensate, also called light oil, and about 50 million cubic meters of natural gas. Statoil ASA (STOHF)
will check for any recurring problems in the various incidents.
The Visund field produces about 35,000 barrels of oil and 5 million cubic meters of natural gas per day. It was not clear when production would resume.