Hundreds face evacuation from oil-rig off Norway

Hundreds face evacuation from oil-rig off Norway
OSLO: Nearly 400 workers were waiting on Wednesday to be evacuated from an offshore platform off the coast of Norway after it began listing, the country's energy giant Statoil.

"We plan to evacuate non-essential staff and are studying the best way to evacuate them by helicopter," spokesman Ola Anders Skauby said, meaning most of the 374-strong team would be flown off the platform.

The platform Floatel Superior, an offshore platform on the Njord hydrocarbon field, began listing early on Wednesday morning due to a problem with a ballast, which controls buoyancy and stability.

The platform was stabilised later, the spokesman said, but the company had decided to evacuate its staff as a precaution.

"We normally have two levels of protection against leaks, and since there was just one left, we decided to evacuate non-essential personnel for security," Skauby said.