Norwegian police have opened an investigation into whether oil company Statoil violated any safety laws during a near disastrous offshore incident on an oil platform Gullfax C last year. The incident on the Gullfax C has since been described by Norwegian safety officials as a “near blowout” incident.
Statoil was forced to immediately evacuate the platform after a sudden and unexpected change in pressure as the company was drilling the well. The incident has been described as a loss of well-control, that could have well ballooned into a Deepwater-Horizon-like blowout. According to the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority, the fact that the incident did not result in a catastrophe was purely a matter of luck. Last week, the Petroleum Safety Authority published a report, which said that the well incident on the Gullfax C could have easily turned into a full-fledged disaster. Norwegian police have now begun an investigation into that incident.
The Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico has increased attention towards similar safety concerns at other oil and gas drilling zones around the globe. This particular incident occurred in the North Sea, another hotbed of oil and gas drilling activity where safety concerns have always been present.