Norwegian Watchdog Reports Safety Breaches At Hammerfest LNG
Norway’s oil safety watchdog said on July 16 it had identified safety breaches at the Hammerfest LNG plant, operated by state-owned Equinor.
Equinor shut down the export terminal on the northern tip of Europe on March 11 in order to resolve issues with pressure safety valves, prompting the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to launch an investigation.
“Heat trace cables and insulation were missing from 190 of these valves. Equinor considered the overall position to be so serious and uncertain that a shutdown and correction were required,” the PSA said in a statement. “The condition of these valves had been identified in earlier reviews conducted by Equinor, without the weaknesses being corrected.”
The agency did not place any controls on the plant’s production, which was restarted later in March. But it ordered Equinor to address the safety problems by December 31.
The Hammerfest plant processes gas from the offshore Snohvit field, producing 4.3mn mt/yr for LNG for export. Equinor’s partners at the plant are fellow state company Petoro, France’s Total, UK-based Neptune Energy and Germany’s Wintershall DEA.