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Gullfaks C (2010)

Operator Statoil lost control of well 34/10-C-6 A on the Gullfaks C platform in the Norwegian North Sea during 19 May 2010.

This article was originally published in
Safety - Status and Signals 2012-2013

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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.