StatoilHydro announced that production on the Kristin field in the Norwegian Sea has now been shut down and the platform staff is being temporarily reduced until the lifeboat systems have been tested and found to be functional.
“A defect has been discovered in the release mechanisms of the new lifeboat type installed on the Kristin platform,” said Eileen Buan, head of operations on the Kristin field. “We are therefore carrying out a controlled production shutdown and reducing the platform staff as quickly and safely as possible.”
Kristin is producing around 10 million cubic metres of gas per day and around 10,000 cubic metres of condensate per day. Production capacity is 125,000 barrels of condensate and a good 18 million cubic metres of rich gas per day. StatoilHydro’s gas customers will not be affected by the shutdown.
The staff will be reduced from around 90 to 16 people, which is an absolute minimum level, and safety around the platform will be enhanced. This situation will be maintained until the tests have been run and the lifeboats are found to be functional. The test equipment is underway to the platform and the tests will be carried out as soon as possible.
Helicopter is the primary evacuation solution in the event of an accident or dangerous situation on offshore installations, but the lifeboat capacity must be sufficient to be able to evacuate all personnel onboard during all weather conditions. Lifeboats of the same FF1000S type are also installed on the Veslefrikk B platform in the North Sea. A test carried out on Wednesday revealed a faulty release mechanism on two of the three lifeboats on Veslefrikk B. This test result led to production shutdown and temporary staff reduction on the Kristin platform.
Changes in the technical arrangements for the release mechanism are currently being considered. Until the solution has been found and the changes have been tested and verified, none of the three lifeboats on Veslefrikk B will be used. Veslefrikk B is connected by a bridge to Veslefrikk A, where the lifeboat capacity is intact. The staff on the field has been reduced, however production is maintained.
Veslefrikk has lifeboat capacity on Veslefrikk A and can therefore maintain its production.