Norwegian oil workers rescued from stricken rig

Hundreds of employees have been rescued from a listing Norwegian oil rig in the North Sea.

Bosses from Statoil, the country’s state-backed oil firm, told the media on Wednesday (7th November) that around 330 non-essential employees had been evacuated from the site after the Floatel Superior quickly began leaning to one side.Reports said that several helicopters were dispatched to aid with the rescue despite unstable weather conditions.

Einar Knudsen said on behalf of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Southern Norway that 40 staff members remained on the rig to perform security work.

The Floatel Superior, which provides housing for staff working on the adjacent Njord A oil production platform, tilted four degrees prior to the evacuation as the result of a leak in one of the structure’s ballast tanks. The site is situated in the North Sea, some 50 nautical miles from the Norwegian coastline.

Statoil spokesman Ola Anders Skauby told AFP, “We normally have two layers of protection against leaks, and since there remained only one, we decided to bring non-essential personnel to safety.”

“We take the situation seriously,” he added.