StatoilHydro gets fined by Økokrim
At least 100 m3 of oil has leaked out of an underground fuel storage at Sjursøya right next to Oslo.
June 13-14 last year an alarm went off several times at the oil storage tank Ekeberg in Oslo. One tank ran over and walk area in the store were flooded with at least 100 m3 of oil products. However, according to Økokrim alarms were ignored, because during this period constant false alarms were sounded in the plant. No action was taken to rectify this.
Økokrim is now Norway Statoil, which owns the plant, and Ekeberg Oil Store, which stands for the daily operations, fines of NOK 800,000 each for violating including Fire and Explosion Prevention Act, Work Act and the Pollution Control Act.
Oil warehouse is located inside the mountain at Sjursøya, near Oslo. The leak occurred in the storage area for diesel oil and other non-explosive mixtures.
In other parts of the plant also kept large amounts of explosive fuel.
Police Attorney Aud Slettemoen at Økokrim do not want to speculate what might have been consequences, if a similar leak had occurred in this part of the warehouse.
“We have not investigated more than this relationship, but we consider it an aggravating circumstance that this is a plant covered by the major accident regulations,” said Slettemoen.
In fine it says: “It is especially egregious that the breach occurred at a facility that is associated with a particular risk for events that can lead to serious consequences for people, environment and material assets (major accident).”
A major accident include large spills, fires and explosions.
“We are looking seriously into the matter and has even conducted a thorough investigation and implemented a series of measures to ensure that such a thing should not happen again, “says Dag Roger Rinde from Statoil Norway.
He stressed that the discharge does not lead to injury or pollution of the external environment, since tank facility is located 40 meters below sea level in the mountain.
One of the most serious findings of the investigation is that our security procedures were not followed when the alarms went off. We have looked carefully through this with staff and managers in both Statoil and Norway Ekeberg Oil Store, and we have upgraded the system so that it will not be happening again.
How do you mount a valve that does not work with the monitoring system?
“There is a clear violation of security procedures and should not take place. We have now upgraded the appropriate valve and reviewed detector and warning system in its entirety” says Rinde.
In another part of the plant they kept large amounts of explosive fuel. Can people feel confident that something similar can not happen here?
Yes. The plant is designed with security in mind for both people and the environment. The second plant is constructed differently, including second valve and detector systems. This will ensure that he same thing could not happen there.