Sick pay schemeNew CEO for Mobil Norway

Statfjord A comes on stream

person By Trude Meland, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
An important milestone in the history of Statfjord and of Norway was reached on Saturday 24 November 1979, when four wells on the A platform were brought on stream.
— Jay E Medley cut the ribbon at Statfjord A when the platform came on stream. Photo: Leif Berge/Statoil
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They produced 6-10 000 barrels of oil in the first day. The volume was thereafter gradually increased.

Jay E Medley, chief executive of Mobil Norge, cut a ribbon in the Norwegian and American national colours to declare Statfjord A on stream before pressing a number of buttons in the control room to set production going.

Arve Johnsen, Statoil’s chief executive at the time, described the day as follows: “After sowing the seed, Statoil can now begin a long period of harvesting, and no industrial project on land can compare with the profitability of the Statfjord field.”[REMOVE]Fotnote: Bergens Tidende, 13 December 1979. Statfjord-olje for 100 millioner til Mongstad.

This was admittedly not the first time the A platform had produced oil. As always before an installation is brought officially on stream, trial output had taken place earlier.

Oil had first flowed from well A33 at 04.00 on 18 November, and the flare boom was ignited for the first time 30 minutes later – a sure sign that production was under way. This test operation lasted for 10-12 hours, before the oil was burnt off and the platform shut down again until normal production began six days later.[REMOVE]Fotnote: Stavanger Aftenblad, 19 November 1979. Statfjord A har prøveprodusert.

Extensive preparations were made before the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), on behalf of the government, gave the green light to start production. While the NPD was responsible for coordinating offshore safety, other official regulators were also involved.

The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority approved flight conditions – in other words, take-off and landing procedures for helicopters. Navigation lights and foghorns had to be passed by the Norwegian Coastal Directorate, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate was responsible for lifesaving equipment, the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority inspected treatment facilities for everything due to be discharged to the sea, and the Norwegian Telecommunications Directorate approved communications installations – including the emergency radio.

Final approval was given once it was confirmed that all safety requirements had been fulfilled. The NPD itself checked compliance with the working environment regulations as well as the functioning of the metering instruments which would guarantee that the government received its rightful share of the revenues.

To learn more, see: Start-up, initial production and first cargo.

Sick pay schemeNew CEO for Mobil Norway
Published November 28, 2019   •   Updated December 12, 2019
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