Fire at Mongstad Extinguished

Fire at Mongstad Extinguished
The cause of the fire is not yet clear.

Equinor revealed on Sunday that a fire had been extinguished at the Mongstad site.

“The situation is being handled by the emergency response organization,” the company noted on July 3.

“A controlled combustion has been conducted from the leakage point. The fire is now extinguished,” Equinor added.

The company noted on July 3 that the work to maintain and secure the affected system continued and said further examinations and any repairs will be conducted before the affected part of the processing plant can be restarted.

In an earlier release on the same day, Equinor revealed that a fire had been reported at Mongstad. The incident was reported at 5:46 CET to Equinor’s emergency response organization and the plant was evacuated, apart from critical personnel handling operations and emergency response, Equinor highlighted, adding that no personnel injuries were reported.

“Public rescue services and authorities have been notified and Equinor's emergency response organization has been mobilized,” Equinor noted in the earlier release.

“A controlled burning of trapped volumes through pressure relief is being conducted, with continuous cooling of the surrounding equipment. The main plant is still in operation, but parts of the plant involved in production of some refined products are affected,” Equinor added in the release.

“The cause of the fire is not yet clear. Equinor will cooperate with the authorities in uncovering the cause of the incident,” Equinor continued.

Back in November 2020, Equinor revealed that it had conducted an internal investigation of oil seepage to the ground at Mongstad and announced that it had submitted a report to the Norwegian Environment Agency.

“As soon as we became aware of the situation, Equinor quickly implemented measures to limit the consequences of the oil seepage,” Irene Rummelhoff, the executive vice president of marketing, midstream and processing at Equinor, said in a company statement at the time.

“The oil in the ground around the overflow basin has now been collected. All identified sources of leakages have been fixed, and oil values from the water treatment plant have returned to normal levels,” Rummelhoff added in the statement.

The first part of the refinery at Mongstad in Nordhordland was put into operations in 1975, Equinor highlights on its website, adding that the refinery has a process capacity of 12 million tons of crude oil per year. The refinery at Mongstad has approximately 750 permanent employees and around 65 apprentices, according to Equinor, which highlights that, during normal operations, around 300 supplier staff are also utilized each year, mainly within maintenance, modification, catering, cleaning and guard and security services. 

In addition to an oil refinery, Equinor’s involvement at Mongstad now includes, an NGL processing plant (Vestprosess), a crude oil terminal (MTDA), a heating plant, and the world’s largest technology center for CO2 capture from flue gas, Equinor’s site points out. In terms of tonnage, the harbor at Mongstad is Norway’s largest, and one of the largest oil and product harbors in Europe with around 1,500 ships calling every year, according to Equinor. Around 2,000 people are said to be employed in the Mongstad industrial area, about 1,100 of which are said to be linked to enterprises where Equinor is involved as an owner.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com


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