Talisman, SBM get Friday deadline for platform repair plan

Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:15am EDT
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OSLO Oct 23 (Reuters) - Norway has given Talisman Energy and SBM Offshore until Friday to present a plan for securing the Yme oil platform in the North Sea after studies showed it could collapse, the Petroleum Safety Authority said on Tuesday.

Talisman, the platform's operator, and SBM, the platform's Dutch contractor, agreed on the deadline and are working on their response, safety watchdog spokesman Oeyvind Midttun said without revealing further detail.

Yme, evacuated over the summer due to safety reasons, is at risk because of faulty grouting on the platform's foundation legs and could collapse in a major winter storm, Talisman warned the watchdog in July.

"We are still discussing the plan with the manufacturer, SBM, but we think that we are going to reach a solution that we can be happy with," Talisman spokesman Vidar Nedreboe said. "But even if we agree on the plan, it still has to be executed."

SBM did not respond to a message seeking comment.

The Yme field has not been operated since 2001 and Talisman said the oil wells are secured so the risk of a spill is limited to 80 cubic metres of diesel, 200 litres of the toxic bleach hypochlorite, and small amounts of other chemicals.

The Yme platform was constructed in Abu Dhabi and refitted in Norway for use in the North Sea. However, safety authorities compiled a list of thousands of faults and refused to permit it to operate until repairs were made.

The Yme field was discovered in 1987 and has reserves of 12 million cubic metres of recoverable oil left. It would be the first field in Norway to be redeveloped after Statoil operated it from between 1996 to 2001.

Talisman holds a 60 percent stake in Yme, Polish refiner Lotos has 20 percent, Norske ADEC holds 10 percent and Wintershall, an arm of BASF, has 10 percent.