BP’s Norway Ula Field Shut After Oil Leak Pending Investigation

BP Plc said its Ula oil field off Norway, shut down following an oil leak, won’t start again until after an internal investigation has been completed.

“Production will not be resumed until the causes of the incident have been clarified and the conditions rectified,” Jan Erik Geirmo, a spokesman for BP, said today in a statement. “It is too early to comment on volumes and possible cause.”

A “substantial escape of hydrocarbons” occurred Sept. 12 in the separator module of the production platform at the North Sea field, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway said earlier. Although no injuries or damage were reported, the incident had a “substantial” accident potential, it said. The platform was automatically shut down and all personnel were evacuated to the neighboring drilling platform.

Most of the oil that leaked was recovered from the production-platform deck, said Eileen Brundtland, a spokeswoman for the PSA, citing information provided by BP. Brundtland said she couldn’t provide further details on how much oil had leaked, and would not elaborate on what dangerous situations could have potentially arisen from the incident. The PSA has also opened an investigation.

BP operates the Ula field with an 80 percent share, while Dong Energy A/S owns the remaining 20 percent. The field produced 10,700 barrels of oil equivalent a day in July, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

BP is facing a trial in the U.S. for gross negligence following the worst oil spill in the country’s history at the Macondo well in April 2010. The blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and led to a spill of more than 4 million barrels, according to the government.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

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