This was regarded as a small spill, but the PSA nevertheless took a serious view of the incident and launched a formal investigation. The leak followed hard on the heels of a broken loading hose on Statfjord just before Christmas 2007, when about 4 000 cubic metres of oil were spilt. According to the PSA, these two incidents had to be seen together. Shell had also experienced a number of crude oil discharges.[REMOVE]Fotnote: Adresseavisen, 14 December 2007, “Måtte stenge Draugen”.
It now transpired that the Draugen spill was caused by the fact that a safety catch in the loading system had behaved exactly as it was supposed to. An overpressure had occurred in the hose, releasing the safety catch. The discharge comprised oil contained at that moment in the hose, which was voided to reduce the pressure.
Why the overpressure had arisen in the first place, however, was something Shell needed to investigate more closely.[REMOVE]Fotnote: NTB, 10 January 2008, “Vil ha driftsstans i Nordsjøen etter nytt oljeutslipp”.
The PSA nevertheless ordered Norske Shell to identify and make necessary improvements to its management of loading operations, and to assess whether other aspects ought to be improved.
Teekay Shipping Norway AS, which was responsible for Navion Scandia, also received orders following the oil discharges on both Draugen and Statfjord.[REMOVE]Fotnote: Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, 29 April 2008, “A/S Norske Shell får pålegg etter gransking av oljeutslipp på Draugen”. Downloaded from http://www.ptil.no/nyheter/a-s-norske-shell-far-palegg-etter-gransking-av-oljeutslipp-pa-draugen-article4477-702.html.
Plans were already afoot to replace the loading buoy. Investment in new equipment was needed because Draugen’s producing life had been extended.
Read more in the article on the loading buoy.