Equinor Rampis Up Snorre B After Earthquake

The Norwegian platform was taken off line as a precaution after an undersea earthquake shook the area.

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Equinor expects Snorre B to return to pre-quake production levels soon.
Source: Equinor

Equinor is ramping up production at its Snorre B platform in the northern North Sea following a precautionary shut-in prompted by an earthquake in the area. The quake had an estimated magnitude of 4.6 on the Richter scale, according to the Norwegian National Seismic Network and was centered in the North Sea between Stad, off the Norwegian coast, and the Faroe Islands.

The earthquake is reported to have been felt from the whole of western Norway all the way south to Jæren and eastward in Drammen. At the time of shut-in, Snorre B was producing between 30,000 and 35,000 BOPD.

An Equinor spokesman told Reuters that Snorre was the closest in proximity to the earthquake and, on the installations, they felt the earthquake, but there were no reports of any damage to installations or on the seabed. Inspections of the seabed, well templates, and anchorage points with remotely operated vehicles had not revealed any damage, he added.

Small earthquakes are not uncommon along the Norwegian coast, but stronger tremors like the one experienced on Monday only happen once a decade, according to data gathered by the University of Bergen seismology department.

The Snorre B platform came on stream in June 2001. The semisubmersible floating production unit lies about 7 km north of the A platform. Oil from Snorre B is piped for 45 km to Statfjord B for storage and export. The gas on the field is injected back into the reservoir.

Europe's second-largest petroleum producer after Russia, Norway produces around 4 million BOED.

Equinor operates Snorre with a 33.3% stake, while state oil firm Petoro holds 30%, Vaar Energi holds 18.5%, INPEX Idemitsu 9.6%, and Wintershall DEA 8.6%.