December 3, 2013 / 4:05 PM / in 4 years

Oil firms move some staff ashore from Norway's North Sea before storm

OSLO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Energy companies operating in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea are moving some staff ashore because of an approaching winter storm but production is so far unaffected, they said on Tuesday.

ConocoPhillips has moved 157 people off its huge Ekofisk field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea while BP moved around a 120 people off Valhall in what it described as standard procedure.

“We have brought a limited amount of personnel - 157 -onshore out of an abundance of caution,” ConocoPhillips spokesman Kris Sava said. “Operations at this point have not been affected.”

The first major winter storm of the season is expected to bring heavy snow to parts of southern Norway on Thursday and North Sea waves are expected to reach up to 10 metres, the meteorological office said.

Statoil, the biggest operator in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, could not immediately comment while the Norwegian unit of Royal Dutch Shell said it had no plans to move any personnel from platforms.

Nexen, which operates Britain’s biggest oilfield, Buzzard, the largest contributor to the Forties stream, and Taqa , which operates the Brent pipeline system and a number of platforms and fields in the UK sector of the North Sea, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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