20 December 2013, News Wires – Statoil insists it is implementing measures to strengthen control of infill waste disposal wells off Norway after being arraigned by environmental group Bellona over a chemicals leak at its veteran Statfjord field.
The company has been reported to the police by Bellona over the incident involving the discharge of 354 cubic metres of pollutive chemicals and oil-based drilling fluids onto the seabed from a well connected to the Statfjord B platform in the North Sea earlier this year.
The group claims the state-owned oil giant failed to take the necessary control measures to reduce the risk of a leakage – after a series of earlier similar incidents on waste injection wells – and believes the volume of the latest spill could be much greater than has been reported by the company.
A Statoil spokesman informed Upstream the company is now studying the indictment to determine its response.
He said the company had submitted an in-depth study of the Statfjord incident to Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) last month, adding it had revealed “we must continually work on clarifying roles and responsibility in relation to injection into infill wells”.
“We regret that the discharge has occurred. Over the past few years, we have improved routines and procedures related to injection wells. In this case, it proved demanding to interpret pressure data in connection with injection into the infill well,” the spokesman said in an e-mailed statement.
A working group has been established by Statoil to develop a common approach on such injection wells and transfer experience within the company, he stated.
Statoil has also proposed a number of improvement measures in the study now in the hands of the PSA that will be followed up internally, with specific deadlines for implementation.
Some of these have already been implemented with others to be put into practice in the course of spring next year, according to the spokesman.
“These measures include clarification of roles and responsibility in relation to injection in infill wells and strengthening of training in safe injection by relevant personnel, as well as more frequent reviews of injection procedures offshore,” he stated.