North Sea oil field evacuated due to drifting barge

The Valhalla oil field. Picture: PA

The Valhalla oil field. Picture: PA

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About 150 people had to be evacuated from offshore platforms in the North Sea due to an unmanned barge drifting in rough seas towards the Valhall oil field, oil giant BP said.

Company spokesman Jan-Erik Geirmo said the evacuees were taken to other oil fields as a precaution, while 85 people remained on platforms in the Valhall field on Thursday morning.

He said a tug boat was trying to gain control of the barge, which started drifting amid strong winds and high waves late on Wednesday.

Earlier, Norway’s Statoil said one worker was killed and two others injured when a huge wave slammed into a drilling rig in the Troll field, also in the North Sea.

Most workers were evacuated from the rig as it headed to shore under its own power.

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