The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway is investigating the last week’s Melkøya gas leak incident.
The gas leak at the Statoil-operated gas liquefaction facility outside Hammerfest was discovered Sunday night, January 5. Upon the discovery of the leak Statoil conducted a controlled shutdown and pressure blowdown.
The PSA has been informed by Statoil that the escape of gas was substantial. “The leak rate and volume are not known at present,” the PSA said.
The leak site was identified as a pump in the process plant. After a detailed assessment, it was resolved to resume production via a different pump. That led to a condensate leak from a heat exchanger, which was quickly closed off.
“The PSA takes a serious view of these incidents, and has now decided to investigate them. Its investigation will seek in part to clarify the course of events and to identify the direct and underlying causes. The investigation will result in a report, which will be published on ptil.no,” the PSA said in a statement.
Production from the LNG plant resumed Tuesday night, and the plant has reached stable operation. Statoil said that all necessary repairs on the plant were completed to ensure a safe and efficient start-up. The company also added it would conduct its own investigation into what went wrong.
The Melkøya LNG plant receives gas from the Snøhvit field. Snøhvit is the first offshore development in the Barents Sea. Without surface installations, this project involves bringing natural gas to land for liquefaction and export from the first plant of its kind in Europe and the world’s northernmost liquefied natural gas facility.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, January 10, 2014