Runaway Rig Closes Two Norwegian Fields

Wednesday, June 14, 2000
Two Norwegian oilfields were shut Wednesday amid fears that a stricken exploration rig might start dragging its anchors in high seas and threaten to crash into them. The North Sea Snorre and Vigdis fields, with a combined output of 260,000 bpd, closed after three of the rig's eight anchors broke free of the seabed in a storm which produced 55 ft. waves. About two-thirds of the rig workers were evacuated via helicopter, and no injuries were reported. According to the company, it is still too early to indicate what the Bideford Dolphin incident would cost. The rig, which was recently upgraded at Harland and Wolff, is owned by Fred Olsen Energy and is on lease to Hydro for oil exploration drilling.

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