Eni’s Arctic platform Goliat halts production

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - January 5, 2017
The Goilat platform is currently the only operational oilfield in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. A new lawsuit seeks to block further oil and gas development in Norway's Arctic. (Thomas Nilsen / The Barents Observer)
The Goliat platform is currently the only operational oilfield in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. (Thomas Nilsen / The Barents Observer)

Eni’s Goliat platform, located in the Norwegian Barents Sea, shut down production on Dec. 26 after the discovery of a technical error with the pipe connecting the platform with loading oil tankers. A week later, production was still not restored.

It is the fifth production halt since the platform came into operation in January 2016, Dagens Næringsliv reports. According to the newspaper, operator company Eni reported a total 34 cases of technical error to the authorities over the course of the year.

In late August, a full power outage struck the platform, and it took the company a full month to get the pumps back running.

[Russia’s offshore Arctic oil platform Prirazlomnaya to close for 3 months]

The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority now intends to step up inspections of the installation.

Press spokesman Øyvind Midttun confirms to DN that the Petroleum Safety Authority in the course of all 2017 will pay a close eye to Eni and its risk management and accident prevention at Goliat.

“Eni has admitted that there is a need for improved risk management,” Midttun says.

After huge cost overruns and long delays, Eni started production at Goliat on March 13, 2016, almost three years after the original schedule. The same month, the first shuttle tanker picked up oil at the installation.

The Goliat field holds about 180 million barrels of oil. Production is run by a Sevan 1000 FPSO, a floating cylindrical production facility.

Located 88 kilometers (about 55 miles) north of Hammerfest in the western part of the Barents Sea, Goliat sets world record for being the northernmost offshore oil field. It is the second offshore oil production unit in the European Arctic, after Russia’s Prirlazlomnaya platform in the Pechora Sea.