Norway’s safety agency has launched an investigation into a hydrocarbon leak into the sea at the ConocoPhillips-operated Eldfisk field in the North Sea last week.
The discharge of stabilised oil occurred in the early hours of 7 August during start-up of the Eldfisk 2/7 FTP facility after an emergency shutdown due to a loss of power the previous day, according to the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA).
The leak was discovered and halted at 5am and mechanical spill response measures were implemented to mechanically recover the resultant spill after a helicopter had assessed the extent of the slick.
The US operator has informed the agency that a blowdown valve in the separator was left in an open position during the start-up operation, enabling stabilised oil to flow via a sea sump and knockout drum.
“The PSA's decision to launch its own investigation reflects the seriousness of the incident and the information received about it,” the agency stated.
The probe will seek to establish the chain of events leading to the incident and the direct and underlying causual factors, as well as follow up ConocoPhillips’ own investigation.
Eldfisk 2/7 FTP is a processing platform for oil and gas production from the Eldfisk and Embla fields.