Oil Rig Accidents

Oil Rig Explotions

Oil Rig Injuries

Statoil ASA

Statoil ASA is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. It has headquarters in Norway and operates in 36 different countries across the globe. They provide power in the form of gas, oil or wind to more than 170 million people. They are a leading exploration company for new oil and gas fields, partnering with other companies across the globe. With more than 23,000 workers the company is the 11th largest oil production company worldwide.

Company History

Statoil ASA was first started during the early 1970’s with the first operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). Operatorship followed during the 1980s, and since then the company has continued to expand and grow significantly.  Currently, they are the largest operator on the NCS with 60% of production. They operate in many other countries as well including the United States, Australia, China, Libya, Venezuela, Russia, Nigeria, Brazil, Angola and Canada.

Originally, the company was called Den Norske Stats Oljeselskap A/S as a national Norwegian petroleum business formed by the government. It had to consult with the government on all issues and supply an annual report to the parliament. In 2001 it became privately owned and took the name Statoil ASA. It merged with Norsk Hydro oil and gas division, and governmental control was reduced. However, the Norwegian government owns the largest number of stock shares.

Corruption Case

In 2002 and 2003 the company was involved in a corruption scandal. Those in charge were found to have attempted to secure oil contracts for a company in Iran to have taken part in corruption and bribery. Found guilty by Norwegian courts, Statoil was ordered to pay $20 million in fines. The situation led to the resignation of the chairman at the time and the operations director. In 2006 the company reached a United States settlement for bribery charges and agreed to pay $21 million in fines.

Accidents and Incidents

Statoil ASA has had numerous accidents and injuries over the years. Some of the most recent accidents reported include:

  • Three separate incidents were reported by Statoil while working at three Korean shipyards. The accidents resulted in two injuries. One accident occurred when a worker fell while working on scaffolding work on the Mariner FSU while in Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard. In a different incident, a worker fell after stepping on unsecured portions of scaffolding. The other accident did not result in injuries.
  • One worker died, and two others were injured when a large wave hit a drilling rig operation. The injured workers were flown to a hospital on shore. The COSL Innovator rig suffered damages that required 50 workers to be evacuated.
  • Two incidents in late 2016 prompted investigations. In October there was a loss of control of the Songa Endurance drilling rig while in the North Sea Troll field. Another incident in October resulted in a hydrogen leak at the Mongstad oil refinery. A well control incident led to a leak that could have been caused by a corroded pipe socket.  No injuries were reported, but the refinery had to be shut down and evacuated. A spokesman for Norway’s largest oil worker union, Industri Energi, stated that cost cutting measures might have been to blame because the company had recently laid off skilled workers.
  • A helicopter chartered by Statoil crashed in 2016, killing 13 people. The Eurocopter EC225 was servicing the Norwegian oil fields when it crashed. Data shows that the copter fell 2,100 feet in ten seconds, the result of a probable catastrophic event on board. It crashed near the city of Bergen.
  • In 2015 they were fined $223,000 for violations following a review of a serious explosion and fire in 2014. The well-pad fire occurred in Monroe County when a hydraulic line broke and sprayed fluid onto hot equipment. 20 trucks lined up on a drill pad caught fire. A large fire ensued with as many as 30 explosions reported. No injuries were reported, but the local area suffered environmental damage. The well was quickly closed before the fire could spread inside.
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