May 21, 2014 / 6:05 AM / in 4 years

N.Sea Snorre B platform to be shut pending enquiry - Statoil

OSLO, May 21 (Reuters) - Norwegian oil firm Statoil said it would keep production shut at its Snorre B platform in the North Sea until an investigation is conducted as to why the soil under a drilling template shifted.

Statoil evacuated a quarter of the platform’s personnel on Saturday after detecting a soil shift under the template.

Production was first shut on Saturday, then halted again on Monday when more problems were discovered during a restart attempt.

The Snorre field, which has two platforms, produced 88,000 barrels of oil per day in 2013 and is Norway’s fourth-biggest oilfield. Statoil has said the Snorre A platform was operating normally.

“Statoil has decided to keep production shut down until the necessary investigations have been carried out,” the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

The firm said it had not detected any leaks of oil and gas from the reservoir into a pit formed under the template.

It had pumped brine (water with heavier sediments) into the well to prevent the possibility of oil and gas leaking into the pit.

Statoil is the operator of the field and has a stake of 33.32 percent.

Its partners include state-owned Petoro with 30 percent, ExxonMobil with 17.76 percent stake, Idemitsu Petroleum with 9.6 percent, RWE with 8.28 percent and Core Energy with 1.04 percent. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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