The helicopter was en route from Gullfaks B to Bergen and crashed outside Turøy in Fjell municipality outside Bergen, Norway (illustration: Statoil)
On Friday, 29 April at 12:20, Statoil was informed that a helicopter had gone down outside Turøy in Fjell municipality outside Bergen. The helicopter was en route from Gullfaks B to Bergen.
The Norwegian police have confirmed that the 13 people on board a CHC helicopter on assignment for Statoil are presumed dead. The helicopter was en route from Gullfaks B to Bergen, and went down outside Turøy in Fjell municipality outside Bergen.
There were two pilots and 11 passengers on board the helicopter. The 11 passengers were employed by the following companies: Halliburton, Aker Solutions, Schlumberger, Welltec, Karsten Moholt and Statoil. The two pilots were employed by CHC. One of the 13 was a Statoil employee.
The production at Gullfaks B has been temporarily shut down, and emergency personnel have been sent out to assist those on board.
Statoil has temporarily grounded all similar traffic helicopters.
“Today, we have been hit by a terrible tragedy, one of the most severe helicopter accidents in the history of the Norwegian oil industry. It is with great sorrow we have received the message that 13 people have been involved in this accident. More than anything, our thoughts are now with those who have lost their loved ones, and an entire industry extends its sympathy to them. We will now do everything we can to give them our support and assistance. The deceased were employed in different companies, but they were all on a mission for Statoil,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president Development & Production Norway.
A centre for next of kin has been established at Scandic Bergen Airport Hotel, where a minister to seamen, psychologists and other personnel with experience from following up next of kin and others affected are available.
On Saturday, Statoil’s President and CEO, Eldar Sætre, and executive vice presidents Margareth Øvrum and Arne Sigve Nylund visited the centre.
“Today, Statoil is a company in mourning. Yesterday, we were hit by one of the most severe accidents in the history of the Norwegian oil industry. Many families have been hit, and we have lost good colleagues and friends,” says Eldar Sætre.
The company will continue to support those who need it most, those who are directly affected, families, colleagues onshore and on the platforms. Statoil will also assist next of kin who are not present at the centre, and colleagues on Gullfaks B. Personnel with experience from following up people in crisis are available for those who need it.
"Today, we are one family. We will stand together as one united industry, and do everything in our power to take care of the affected families," Sætre says.
The Accident Investigation Board in Norway will investigate the accident, and Statoil will contribute to this job. Statoil will also start its own investigation in cooperation with the employee representatives and the safety delegates. This investigation will be coordinated with the work of the Accident Investigation Board.
"Finding an answer to why the helicopter crashed is very important, both to the next of kin and to all who have the Norwegian continental shelf as their work place. The safety of everyone working for Statoil is the most important thing for us,” Sætre says.
The Norwegian Crown Prince, the Crown Princess and the Prime Minister also visited the centre for next of kin on Saturday.