Quake temporarily shuts down North Sea oil rig

A general view of Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms in the North Sea, Norway December 3, 2019. — Reuters pic
A general view of Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms in the North Sea, Norway December 3, 2019. — Reuters pic

OSLO, March 21 — Norwegian energy giant Equinor said today it briefly shut down production at its Snorre B oil platform in the North Sea as a precautionary measure following an earthquake.

The 4.6-magnitude quake occurred today at 6.32am (0532 GMT), according to the Norwegian National Seismic Network.

The tremor could be felt on the platform, which produces between 30,000 and 35,000 barrels of oil per day, but no damage had been reported.

“The production at Snorre B was stopped today, as a precaution, following an earthquake in the North Sea that was registered on the installations,” Equinor spokesman Gisle Ledel Johannessen told AFP.

Snorre B is located in the Snorre oil field of west coast of Norway, and the oil from the platform is piped 45 kilometres Statfjord B for export and storage.

“After inspections with ROV’s we have not identified any irregularities on the seabed or the Snorre infrastructure,” Johannessen told AFP.

“We have now started ramping up for normal production again.”

Norway is the largest producer of oil in Western Europe, but supplies only about two per cent of global oil consumption, according to Norwegian Petroleum. — AFP