Petroleum Safety Authority: Serious violations of rules revealed after the Melkøya fire

Melkøya firePhoto: Bjarne Halvorsen / NTB

The investigation of the Melkøya fire outside Hammerfest has revealed serious breaches of rules, according to the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway.

The fire in the plant on Melkøya outside Hammerfest took place on September 28. The day after the incident, the Petroleum Safety Authority stated that the fire was one of the most serious incidents in Norwegian petroleum history.

The Authority’s investigation of the incident is now complete.

“The investigation has revealed several elements that have, or may have had, significance for the fire,” the audit states.

The investigation has identified “serious breaches of the regulations” and points to shortcomings in management and control, staffing, risk analysis, maintenance, and an overview of external emergency preparedness resources.

Equinor has to implement changes

The investigation has resulted in Equinor being required to ensure adequate staffing, competence, and dissemination of knowledge and necessary information.

Improvement points have also been identified related to follow-ups and overviews.

In November, the Petroleum Safety Authority issued a separate order to Equinor after the fire. At the time, the audit found serious violations of rules.

Closed until October

The new order must be complied with no later than at the start of the operations of the plant. The plan to comply with the orders must be presented to the Petroleum Safety Authority by June 1.

Equinor has previously stated that the plant will be closed until October 1. The plant produces liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Snøhvit field.

The fire started in Equinor’s production facility on the island in the afternoon and was extinguished late in the evening.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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