After weeks of upgrade the LNG plant at Melkøya outside Hammerfest was to be restarted on Saturday. The leak was discovered during initial start-up and 32 workers were evacuated from the plant when the gas-alarm was triggered.
Statoil is no searching for the leak and the production will be halted until the problem is located and solved, reports NRK.
Head of information in Statoil, Ole Anders Skauby, says to NRK it is too early to say when the plant will be up and running again.
“There have been some challenges since the plant was commissioned. We want the plant to be operational as much as possible, and that was the background for the planned halt in production over the last weeks. It is therefore very tedious to be in such situation, but we are now working to find the leak,” says Ole Anders Skauby.
Last summer, water ingression caused ice formation in a cooling circuit of the natural gas dryers, also forcing Statoil to halt production, as reported by BarentsObserver.
Hammerfest LNG is Norway’s first offshore petroleum field in operation in the Barents Sea with production startup in 2007. The plant has struggled with its production several times in the course of the last six years.