Drifting barge forces 235 to evacuate Valhall field

More than 200 workers were evacuated by helicopter in the early hours of this morning from BP Norway’s Valhall field in the North Sea.

The evacuation was a precautionary measure taken as a 110m long Eide Marine Services barge, Eide Barge 33, became adrift unmanned putting an accommodation platform and a Maersk Drilling rig at risk.

Four helicopters were sent from Stavanger airport to the Valhall field and a total of 235 people have been evacuated as a precautionary measure from the oil field development.

The barge is understood to have become unattached in rough weather while being towed by a tug.

Eide Marine, the company that owns the barge, said that it is trying to track down and take control of the errant ship.

Other rigs in the area, including one operated by ConocoPhillips, are monitoring the situation.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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