Statoil ASA announced Wednesday that a condensate leak which occurred on the Gudrun platform recently was “of the highest degree of seriousness”.
The classification was made by Statoil’s corporate investigation team following reports of noise and vibrations on the Gudrun site in the North Sea Feb. 18. A 0.07 inch crack extending approximately 90 percent across the circumference of a two inch pipeline was found at Gudrun and condensate had leaked from the pipeline and resulted in gas distribution. Statoil estimated the volume of condensate from the leak at four cubic meters and the leak rate was calculated to be around 17 pounds per second.
No one was injured as a result of the incident, although the investigation concluded that the outcome could have been fatal if anyone was exposed to the leak. Based on material technical investigations, Statoil believes that the crack was the result of fatigue and overload. An under-dimensioned level valve led to vibrations in the valve itself and in the surrounding piping system during regular plant operation. The vibrations resulted in loss of level valve control, which caused repeating powerful vibrations and strokes in the piping system.
Statoil Senior Vice President of Safety and Sustainability of Development and Production Norway Øystein Arvid Håland commented in a company statement:
“The condensate leak on Gudrun was serious with major incident potential.
“Statoil is working systematically on gas leak prevention, and the learnings from this incident shall be translated into specific actions. We must ensure that these efforts help prevent future incidents.”