Norwegian energy company Statoil has reported an oil leak in the sea close to the OLS B loading buoy at the Statfjord field.

The company discovered the spill when loading oil from the Statfjord A platform to the tanker Hilda Knutsen through the OLS B loading buoy, located between Statfjord A and Statfjord B.

Following the incident, Statoil stopped transporting onto the tanker and closed supply to the pipe and loading system from Statfjord A.

According to the company, production at Statfjord A is operating as usual.

The leak is located in a flange in the loading hose and Statoil said it could not determine the quantity of oil leaked.

An SAR helicopter is monitoring the spill area supported by a stand-by vessel with oil spill response equipment and the anchor handling vessel, equipped with a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV).

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"Based on preliminary assessments, the spill is estimated to be within the range of 40m³ of oil."

Statoil said it has notified relevant authorities about the incident.

Based on preliminary assessments, the spill is estimated to be within the range of 40m³ of oil.

The Statfjord oil and gas field covers 580km² in the UK-Norwegian boundary of the North Sea at a water depth of 145m and was discovered in 1974 by Mobil and operated by Statoil since 1987.

The trans-median field crosses the Norwegian and UK North Sea Boundary with about 15% being in the UK Continental Shelf waters.

Image: A SAR helicopter is monitoring the spill area. Photo: © Statoil.