* About 40 cubic metres of oil spilled into sea
* Statoil says has “flexibility” to export oil (Adds volume of oil spill, quotes, detail)
By Nerijus Adomaitis and Stine Jacobsen
OSLO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Oil spilled into the North Sea during the loading of a tanker at Norway’s Statfjord field on Thursday, operator Statoil said.
About 40 cubic metres of oil, or 252 barrels, leaked at 0630 GMT when oil was loaded on the Hilda Knudsen tanker from the Statfjord A platform via a loading buoy, Statoil said.
Production at the platform was not halted, but tanker loading has been suspended. A Statoil spokesman later said another buoy could be used to export oil stored on the platform.
“We have flexibility at the field to reroute oil from Statfjord A via another buoy,” he said.
Asked whether the leak had stopped, he said: “We have control over the leak.”
The leak was located in a flange in the loading hose between the buoy and the tanker.
The Norwegian oil safety regulator was unable to provide further details. The Statfjord A platform can store up to 1.3 million barrels of oil.
Statfjord is one of Norway’s oldest producing fields in the North Sea. It produced 24,300 barrels per day in July, the latest available data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate showed.
Statoil’s partners at the field are ExxonMobil and Centrica. (Writing by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by David Holmes and Dale Hudson)