Safety violations found on Melkøya
The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority has uncovered a series of safety violations at Statoil’s LNG plant on the island of Melkøya just off Hammerfest in Northern Norway.
The safety trouble emerged during an audit by the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) earlier this summer. Most of the problems involve shortcomings within fire safety installations.
“We made several discoveries of violations of the rules that involve critical safety equipment,” Inger Anda of Petroleumstilsynet (PSA) told Teknisk Ukeblad. “We’ve therefore issued orders for improvements.”
The authorities found, among other things, that studies of explosion danger had not been updated since the LNG plant was designed and that the PSA has not received any documentation that the plant could withstand possible fires. The audit also pointed out torch suspensions and blow down vents as possible problem areas.
Statoil, which is operating the project, has had major technical problems with the plant, the first of its kind in the Arctic. The project was put in production in 2007. Earlier this summer the plant was shut down because of a water ingression in the natural gas dryers.
Statoil and PSA officials were set to discuss the audit this week, when Statoil officials would be given a chance to comment on the alleged safety violations. A Statoil spokesman told Teknisk Ukeblad that there was some “professional disagreement” between Statoil and the PSA, “but we will of course make corrections in line with the improvements PSA points out in its final report.”