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Statoil Facing Accusation Of Criminal Negligence

Norwegian oil giant Statoil ASA is being investigated for possible criminal negligence

Norwegian oil giant Statoil ASA is being investigated for possible criminal negligence which probably caused a serious natural gas leak on a North Sea oil platform, Norwegian police said Tuesday.

The Nov. 28 gas leak from a well shut down the Snorre A platform and forced the evacuation of 180 crew members. Though no one was injured, safety authorities called it one of the most serious incidents ever on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Earlier Statoil realized its own investigation, and came to a conclusion, that the leak could have been catastrophic for the platform and its employees had the gas ignited.

Police lawyer Tor Arvid Bruskeland, of the Rogaland district, said authorities decided on a full investigation after conferring with the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority.