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Norway's oil safety authority warned Equinor before fire

A few days before a fire erupted in September at the Melkøya gas facility, the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority's visit at the site uncovered reprehensible conditions.

Photo: Equinor

When fire broke out in September at Equinor's gas facility on Melkøya near Hammerfest, Norway, the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) had already found five regulatory deviations during a visit only days before the incident. Three of these points had already been addressed by the regulator in 2017, reports Norwegian media E24.

"This is special. It's obviously serious that we return and find that these irregularities have not been been rectified," says PSA press spokesperson Øyvind Midttun tells the media.

One of these issues addressed in 2017 also concerned Equinor having not handled other problems identified at an even earlier time. The two others pertained to emergency lighting and entry surveillance of electrical transformer stations.

Equinor has now received a reprimand for failing to ameliorate the shortcomings.

Andreas Sandvik, who leads the facility, tells E24 that the oil company is taking the matter very seriously and will now work toward ensuring improved forward-looking operations.

EnergyWatch has previously reported on the fire at the Hammerfest LNG plant, which is expected to remain closed until October of next year due the damage, Equinor is also in the process of investigating the factors behind the fire.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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