Statoil uncertain when Troll C can resume production
Kjetil Malkenes Hovland
OSLO -- Norwegian oil and gas producer Statoil ASA said it didn' t know when production could resume at its Troll C gas platform in the North Sea, which was shut down earlier Thursday due to corrosion in a gas-treatment system.
The affected platform, one of three in the Troll field, produces around 120,000 barrels of oil and 10.5 million cubic meters of gas a day, Statoil said.
Troll is one of Norway' s most important oil and gas fields, producing 568,450 barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2011, or about 15% of Norway' s total production of 3.8 million barrels a day.
The corrosion on a tank in the glycol system, an auxiliary system for treating gas, was discovered during a scheduled inspection on the platform. Production has been stopped temporarily for investigations to be carried out.
A similar tank in a parallel gas-treatment system is also being checked, the company said.
Statoil didn' t know when production could restart. It chose to shut down production while the second tank was investigated, and will make a decision following the inspection.
At least one tank is needed for production to continue, said Statoil spokesman Ole Anders Skauby.
"Corrosion under the insulation is a known issue, especially in older equipment," he said.
The shutdown comes just a week after Statoil evacuated 336 workers from a floating hotel at the Njord Field in the Norwegian Sea due to a leak in a ballast tank.
But there is "nothing dramatic" in the situation at Troll C that would require immediate responses like last week' s evacuation, Mr. Skauby said, although there was a small danger of a leak if corrosion had punched through a tank.
Statoil has a 30.58% stake in the Troll field, while Petoro AS has a 56% stake, AS Norske Shell an 8.1% stake, Total E&P Norge AS a 3.7% stake and ConocoPhilips Skandinavia AS a 1.6% stake.
The Fram license, which is connected to Troll C, owns 50,000 barrels a day of the oil production and 2 million cubic meters a day of its gas production, Statoil said.
Statoil has a 45% stake in the Fram license, while ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Norway AS has a 25% stake, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS a 15% stake and GDF Suez E&P Norge AS a 15% stake.