OSLO, Sept 19 BP's oil leak at the Ula
field in Norway is considered serious because its location posed
a risk to the facility itself but the spill was contained and
does not currently pose an environment risk, the Petroleum
Safety Authority said.
"BP has told us the leak was almost entirely contained so
this isn't an environmental accident," a PSA spokeswoman told
Reuters on Wednesday. "But it was very serious because of its
location, due to the danger to the facility."
The oil and gas leak happened in the separator module on
Ula's production platform, resulting in a spill on the facility
itself and forcing BP to evacuate personnel to the drilling
platform, one of the three units that make up the facility.
The PSA's investigation is expected to take months but BP
can restart production at its own discretion once their own
investigation and repairs ensure safe operation, the safety
BP announced on Tuesday that it suffered a leak at its Ula
platform in the Norwegian North Sea on September 12 and shut the
facility pending an investigation and repairs.
BP, still trying to rebuild its reputation after the 2010
Deepwater Horizon oil spill, America's worst ever, declined to
discuss the details of the incident on Wednesday and said it was
working with authorities and needed more time to estimate the
extent and time frame of repairs.
Ula, owned by operator BP (80 percent) and Denmark's Dong
(20 percent) is relatively small and mature, with production
seen at 11,000 barrels per day this year.
BP, which is disputing charges related to the Macondo spill,
was accused by the U.S. Justice Department of gross negligence
and wilful misconduct, a position that could lead to nearly $21
billion in civil damages if a federal judge agrees.