Nobody was hurt and no hydrocarbons escaped, but the incident was very serious. Under slightly different circumstances, it could have developed into a major accident in the shape of a sub-surface blowout and/or explosion.
The work of regaining control over and reestablishing barriers in the well lasted for more than two months.
A PSA investigation exposed serious deficiencies in Statoil’s planning of the drilling and completion job, and in management efforts to ensure that activities were conducted in an acceptable manner.
The Gullfaks C incident also helped to highlight challenges related to compliance with regulatory requirements when planning relief wells and to overall emergency preparedness for wells.