Norway’s Equinor Shuts Snorre B Oil Platform After Earthquake

March 21, 2022

Norway’s Equinor has shut its Snorre B oil platform as a precautionary measure following an earthquake in the North Sea, the company said on Monday.

It was not yet clear when Snorre B, which produces between 30,000-35,000 barrels per day of oil, could resume normal operation, Equinor spokesperson Gisle Ledel Johannessen said.

“Our focus now is on the safety,” he said.

The quake, which took place early on Monday, had an estimated magnitude of 4.6, according to the Norwegian National Seismic Network.

The tremor was noticed at the Snorre field, which has several platforms, Johannessen said.

“At Snorre B, the production has been shut down as a precaution,” he said.

“Snorre is the closest in proximity to the earthquake and on the installations they felt the earthquake … But (there are) no reports of any damages to installations or on the seabed,” he added.

While small earthquakes are common along Norway’s coast, a tremor of the magnitude seen on Monday happens only once a decade on average, University of Bergen seismology Professor Lars Ottermoller told newspaper Bergens Tidende.

Norway is Europe’s second largest petroleum producer after Russia, producing around 4 million barrels of oil equivalents per day, roughly equally divided between oil and natural gas.

Operator Equinor has a stake of 33.3% in Snorre, while state oil firm Petoro holds 30%, Vaar Energi VAR.OL holds 18.5%, INPEX Idemitsu 9.6% and Wintershall DEA 8.6% according to Norwegian government data.

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