By Nora Buli and Terje Solsvik
OSLO – Norway’s Equinor is ramping up production at its Snorre B platform in the North Sea after shutting it down earlier on Monday following an earthquake, the company told Reuters.
“We started on this actually a couple of hours ago already, so we’re hoping to get back to normal production again pretty soon,” Equinor spokesperson Gisle Ledel Johannessen said.
Inspections of the sea bed, well templates and anchorage points with remotely operated vehicles had not revealed any damage, he added.
Snorre B, which produces between 30,000 and 35,000 barrels per day of oil, was shut down earlier as a precaution.
The quake, which took place early on Monday, had an estimated magnitude of 4.6, according to the Norwegian National Seismic Network.
The tremor was noticed at the Snorre field, which has several platforms, Johannessen said earlier on Monday.
While small earthquakes are common along Norway’s coast, a tremor of the magnitude seen on Monday happens only once a decade on average, University of Bergen seismology Professor Lars Ottermoller told newspaper Bergens Tidende.
Norway is Europe’s second largest petroleum producer after Russia, producing around 4 million barrels of oil equivalents per day, roughly equally divided between oil and natural gas.
The Nordic country has said it will do its utmost to maintain high output of oil and gas at a time when Western nations are seeking to wean themselves off Russian petroleum following last month’s invasion of Ukraine.
Operator Equinor has a stake of 33.3% in Snorre, while state oil firm Petoro holds 30%, Vaar Energi holds 18.5%, INPEX Idemitsu 9.6% and Wintershall DEA 8.6% according to Norwegian government data.