Norwegian oil major Statoil has reported an oil spilled observed in the North Sea close to a loading buoy at the Statfjord offshore oil field.
The oil spill was first reported at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the vicinity of the OLS loading buoy.
Statoil says that the oil spill was discovered during the loading of oil from the Statfjord A platform to the tanker Hilda Knutsen via the OLS B loading buoy, which is located between the Statfjord A and Statfjord B platforms. The company added that the leak is located in a flange in the loading hose.
Preliminary assessments estimate the the spill is in the range of 40 cubic meters of oil, or approximately 251 barrels.
A stand-by vessel with oil spill response equipment and an anchor handling tug, equipped with a ROV, are at the location, Statoil says. A SAR helicopter is also assisting with monitoring the spill.
The Statfjord field is one of the oldest producing fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, and the largest oil discovery in the North Sea. The oil produced there is loaded onto shuttle tankers at the field, where it is then shipped to a number of ports in northwestern Europe.
The field is likely to remain in production until at least 2025.
The field produces roughly 80,000 barrels of oil per day and includes three Statfjord platforms, according to Statoil.