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Norway’s 'fantastic, digitalized' platform could be closed due to technical problems

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Staff Writer |
Europe   Goliat oil platform

Goliat oil platform, Norway’s first in the Barents Sea, is plagued by so many technical problems that safety regulators are warning they’ll issue an injunction to halt operations if the problems aren’t solved.

The order comes just after Goliat came under new management and altered ownership this week, and as Norway must defend its oil industry at the UN climate summit in Poland.

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) noted on Wednesday that Goliat is often used as an example of all the reasons why oil activity in the Arctic is problematic, and hazardous.

The injunction threat was announced on Tuesday, just a day after the newly formed company Vår Energi formally took over as operator of Goliat, located 85 kilometers northwest of Hammerfest.

Vår Energi is the result of a merger between Eni Norge, the Norwegian operations of Italian oil company Eni, and Point Resources, which itself is the result of acquisition fund Hitecvision’s purchase of ExxonMobil’s oil fields in Norway. The merger of Eni’s and ExxonMobil’s offshore interests into the new Vår Energi has created a new big player on the Norwegian Continental shelf.

Kristin Kragseth, an ExxonMobil veteran who has taken over as chief executive of Vår Energi, claims Goliat is “a fantastic, new installation,” telling DN earlier this week that it’s “very automated and digitalized” with workers who are “very motivated and proud.”

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