Goliat is the world's northernmost offshore oil platform in production. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Goliat remains shut down, Norway orders plan on how to avoid power outage

ENI has received a notification of order to identify and implement necessary measures following the loss of power on the Barents Sea platform last Friday.
August 31, 2016

It was late Friday night the brand new, €5 billion expensive, platform lost power and 51 of the crew were evacuated and brought to Hammerfest by helicopter. Not only did the platform lost power from its seabed cable from the mainland; the on board backup generators wouldn’t start either.

Operator of the platform, ENI Norge, writes in a short note “power returned a few hours later, the evacuation was stopped, and the situation normalized.”

Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, however, is not relaxed with the assurance “Situation normalized” from ENI Norge.

In a Notification of Order sent on Monday, the safety authority writes:

“… we order ENI to identify and implement necessary measures following the incident of August 27 2016 in order to achieve compliance with health, safety and environmental legislation.”

The authority asks ENI to present a plant for this by September 5th

ENI is also ordered to present a binding, time-delimited schedule with deadlines for implementing corrective measures following the incident and a description of any compensatory measures to be deployed until the non-conformity has been rectified.

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Second time with power outage

Production at the platform, located off the coast of Finnmark, is still halted. This was the second time since production started the platform lost power. In May, power was lost due to a computer mistake onshore.

Both labour union and environmental groups criticize safety on board the platform over the last few days. A Dagens Næringsliv article titled “A buffoon culture we have never before seen on the Norwegian continental shelf” quotes a union spokesperson saying many of the employees now are back on the platform although they were afraid and did not want to return.

The employees claims the situation at the platform us unsafe and the union has asked ENI to cease operations.

Eni Norge strongly rejects any claims on jeopardizing safety and says production is expected to restart soon.

“It will be a matter of days. As a safety precaution we won’t resume production until all the facts are gathered,” spokesman for the company Andreas Wulff told Reuters.

“ENI does not have the ability and will”

Frederic Hauge with the environmental group Bellona says ENI does not have the ability and will to comply with the requirements set by Norwegian law.

Frederic Hauge with the Bellona Foundation. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

“The most disturbing fact in this case is that Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority gave permission to start up production at a platform that was not ready. Workers feel unsafe, and there is a significant risk of a major accident. This is not how we want it on the Norwegian continental shelf,” says Head of Bellona, Frederic Hauge.

He calls for the Norwegian Ministry of Oil and Energy to withdraw ENI’s operator license for Goliat and don’t give the Italian company any new licenses on the Norwegian shelf.

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