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AXF News: Norway suspends two platforms, risks cutting off 200,000 bpd output UPDATE

(Adds comment, detail on problem, likely length of closures)

OSLO (AFX) – Norway, the world’s third largest exporter of crude oil, could see its daily output cut by up to 200,000 barrels per day for ‘between days and weeks’, after authorities suspended two oil platforms due to safety reasons.

The closure of the Shell-operated Draugen platform and the Statoil-operated Snorre A platform risks cutting off 200,000 barrels of oil per day, a slightly-less-than 10 pct reduction of Norway’s normal daily oil output.

The Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway, the agency responsible for safety on the platforms, called for the closures the day after announcing that 39 lifeboats on eight platforms off the Norwegian coast did not meet safety standards.

A spokesman for the authority said that while the bulk of the problems had been resolved, issues remained regarding the strength of a number of the lifeboats when launched from the platforms themselves.

‘These lifeboats will need rebuilding to strengthen the roof system,’ a spokesman said.

A source close to the situation said that while the work can be done offshore, the closure of the platforms could last between ‘a few days and weeks’ while the neccessary work is carried out.

‘Five or six weeks was the original timeframe, but with the closures I imagine this work will move up the priority list, so it’s likely to be less than that,’ the source said.

Neither Shell nor Statoil were available to comment. [email protected] ar/abr

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