Update: Equinor shutting down crude oil port after two ships collide

The Sture terminal north-west of Bergen. (Photo: Helge Hansen / Equinor)

The article has been updated to include a statement by Rystad Energy. Rystad expects the incident will have caused 365,000 bpd of oil production in Norway shut in for several days.


Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor is shutting down operations at Sture terminal, its tanker port for crude oil in Øygarden, Norway, following a collision between the frigate Helge Ingstad and the Maltese Oil tanker TS Sola. Equinor reported the incident at approximately 04.15 local time on Thursday.

In a statement on Thursday morning, Equinor said that personnel at Sture without emergency tasks will also be evacuated. The shutdown and evacuation are performed as a precautionary measure.

The company added it is in a dialogue with Norwegian authorities and has mobilized emergency resources to assist the police and the Joint Rescue Coordination Center.

The Sture terminal in the Municipality of Øygarden in Hordaland receives crude oil from the Oseberg area through the 115-kilometer Oseberg transport system from Oseberg field center, and crude oil from the Grane field through the 212-kilometer Grane oil pipeline (GOP). The Svalin field was connected via the Grane pipeline in 2014. Crude oil from the Edvard Grieg field has been transported to Sture via GOP since the end of 2015.

BBC said that, at the time of the incident, the frigate had been returning from Nato military exercises while the tanker was returning to port for inspection.

According to a report from Reuters, seven people were injured in the collision between the frigate Helge Ingstad and the tanker TS Sola. The frigate was taking on water and evacuating its crew of 137 and there were no reports of damage to the oil tanker, Reuters added.

Norway’s Aftenblad reported early on Thursday morning that the frigate has a big hole in the hull and was leaking fuel into the sea. At the time of the incident, the tanker had 625,000 barrels of crude oil on board but there were no reports of a risk of leakage.

365,000 bpd of Norwegian oil output shut

 Energy intelligence group Rystad has said that the collision could see 365,000 bpd of oil production in Norway shut in for several days before the terminal is again ready to receive oil piped from offshore fields in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Rystad has said that the frigate Helge Ingstad sustained severe damage in the collision, which occurred only about 15 minutes after the tanker TS Sola, carrying approximately 600,000 barrels of oil, set sail under tow from Equinor’s Sture terminal. The frigate moved to an inshore location and was listing heavily at 11:30am, amidst emergency efforts to prevent the vessel from sinking.

The Sture oil terminal, has about 6 million barrels of underground oil storage capacity. Rystad has also shared the impact by crude blend: Oseberg Blend (105,000 bpd impacted) and Grane Blend (260,000 bpd impacted). The largest contributors to Grane Blend are the Grane, Ivar Aasen and Edvard Grieg oil fields.

Rystad Energy estimates that production from affected fields will be impacted for five to seven days. The infrastructure at the terminal itself has not been affected and the shut-down appears to be precautionary. Nevertheless, the outage will likely reduce the daily average production of Oseberg Blend and Grane Blend in November 2018 by approximately 85,000 bpd, Rystad said.

Per Magnus Nyvseen, Head of Analysis at Rystad Energy, expects two to three cargoes to be delayed from Sture, causing only a brief upwards impact on Brent prices. “The risk of prolonged shut-down and delayed resumption of operations is deemed to be low, although oil markets will face difficulty replacing Grane heavy oil blend during November,” Nysveen said.

 

Update: 16:15 CET, November 8, 2018

Equinor resumed operations at the Sture terminal and the Kollsnes plant on Thursday afternoon  adding that the North Sea installations affected were slowly startin-up again.More here.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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