Image courtesy of MC2 Aaron Chase/Wikimedia Commons.

Royal Dutch Shell confirmed on Tuesday that it has halted helicopter flights provided by CHC in the North Sea after a deadly crash killed 13 people last week.

The company told Energy Voice that it has canceled flights to its Draugen and Knarr fields following the crash.

Shell added that it is still “too early” to determine when those flights will be resumed.

“In light of the tragic accident on Friday, A/S Norske Shell wishes to engage with CHC HS in Norway to reaffirm that all operational requirements are met to the defined standards. This process involves Shell’s global air transport assurance provider (Shell Aircraft),” Shell told Energy Voice.

The company said that it has temporarily suspended all CHC HS passenger flights in Norway but it will continue to use CHC flights outside of Norway.

Shell is currently looking for an alternative helicopter flight provider to temporarily support its Norway operations, Energy Voice said.

CHC told Energy Voice that it “respects Shell Norway’s decision to temporarily suspend its flight operations and is committed to transparent and collaborative engagement with Shell Norway during this pause.”

A Super Puma helicopter operated by CHC crashed in offshore Norway last week as it was travelling from Statoil’s Gulfaks B platform to Bergen, Norway.

The eleven oil workers and two pilots on board are all presumed dead.

In a statement to the Press Association seen by the Guardian, CHC confirmed that the helicopter had returned to base twice for repairs in the days leading up to the accident.

CHC added that the helicopter successfully completed six commercial flights after those repairs were made.

The Accident Investigation Board in Norway will investigate the crash and Statoil said it will contribute to the investigation.

Statoil will also start its own investigation in cooperation with employee representatives and safety delegates.

Statoil temporarily grounded all equivalent traffic helicopters on Friday.

“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,” Statoil’s President and CEO Eldar Sætre said.


Leave a Reply