Norwegian firm Statoil will launch an investigation into a gas leak that occurred on the Heimdal platform in the North Sea on 26 May 2012.

The leak occurred during the testing of emergency shutdown valves at the Heimdal Gas Center, which was not on stream due to a shutdown for maintenance, the field operator said.

Located at a depth of 120m, the platform serves as a connection hub for processing and distribution of natural gas from satellite fields.

Standby vessels and helicopters were dispatched to the area as the operator mobilised its onshore and offshore emergency response organisation.

The 98 personnel onboard the platform were transferred to lifeboats in accordance with the emergency instructions, but returned to their normal tasks later the same day.

No one was injured in the incident, which Statoil said was serious and provisionally classified as Red 1.

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority will also investigate the leak, Statoil said.

Partners included in the project are Statoil with a 39.44% interest; Centrica Resources, which holds a 23.79% stake; Petoro, which has a 20% stake and TotalFinaElf Exploration Norge, which holds a 16.75% interest.

Image: The Heimdal Gas Center, offshore Norway. Photo courtesy of: Statoil.