At 10:30 pm on Thursday night, a gas leak was reported at Statoil’s Kårstø processing plant in Norway.
Statoil said that the emergency services and authorities have been notified about the situation and Statoil’s emergency response organisation has been established.
“All personnel have been accounted for and brought to safety. A notice to neighbours has also been sent in accordance with protocol,” Statoil said in a statement.
In an update early on Friday, Statoil said the pressure was starting to fall and work was continuing on depressurising the facility.
The gas leak occurred in the Statpipe-facility where the gas pipelines connect to the facility for processing.
There may be visible flames (controlled burn-off of gas) from the three process flares at the facility while this continues, Statoil explained.
There are now only a skeleton crew of 25 people who are at the facility to manage the incident.
The cause of the incident has not as yet been determined.
The Kårstø processing plant north of Stavanger plays a key role in the transport and treatment of gas and condensate (light oil) from important areas on the Norwegian continental shelf.
First gas arrived at the plant on 25 June 1985, and dry gas began to be dispatched by pipeline to Emden in Germany on 15 October of the same year. The Statpipe trunkline system carries gas from the North Sea to Kårstø.