16 December 2011, 1700
This is a statement by Mr Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, appointed by the UK Government to oversee the operation.**
“This is an update regarding an issue with two linked vessels, the Petrojarl Banff (Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel) and the Apollo Spirit (Floating Storage and Offtake vessel) located 190km East of the Aberdeen coast, which resulted following last week’s severe weather. The two vessels are operated by Teekay Petrojarl on behalf of the licence holder CNR International.
Although adverse weather has had an impact on the response, the Apollo Spirit has now been secured on all eight of its anchors and the vessel is now stable. I can confirm it was storing 79,900 tonnes of crude oil, which has all been transferred to the tanker Nancy Knutsen and is being shipped to port.
The Petrojarl Banff, which contains a confirmed 3,616 tonnes of crude oil, is also now stable with the use of its five operational anchors and three thrusters, with an additional line attached to the anchor handling tug, the Skandi Saigon.
The subsea isolation valves were closed at the time of the incident and are secure. An approved operation is ongoing to conduct a controlled flush of the risers and remove the estimated 12 tonnes of oil they contain back to the Petrojarl Banff. Upon completion of the riser flushing, operations will commence to disconnect the Petrojarl Banff from the risers. In the worst case scenario, it is possible that up to 1.8 tonnes of crude oil could be released to sea during this disconnection process. If this occurs, the oil will cause minimal environmental impact and be dispersed naturally at sea.
All persons on the vessels are safe and there were no other reports of oil release during the operation.
I will continue to approve and monitor the ongoing plans of CNR International and Teekay Petrojarl to disconnect the two vessels from the subsea infrastructure and relocate both to a place of refuge.
No further statements to this are expected to be issued.”