Equinor shut down the Hammerfest LNG facility on March 11, 2019, in order to address the weaknesses of several safety valves at the plant. A total of 190 valves did not have heating cables and insulation.

Overall, Equinor considered the situation on the plant as so serious and uncertain that it was necessary to begin shutdown and repair.

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The condition of these valves has been identified in previous reviews by Equinor without the weaknesses being corrected. For this reason, PSA decided to start investigation of the incident and identified several breaches of the rule. Specifically, four deviations were identified regarding:

  1. Management's follow-up of the safety at Hammerfest LNG;
  2. Lack of risk assessment of findings;
  3. Inadequate correction for hydration findings in PSV;
  4. Lack of registration of HSE incidents.

Moreover, one improvement point was identified regarding a lack of capacity in the organization.

Based on PSA's observations, it notified the following order:

Pursuant to Section 69 of the Framework Regulations on individual decisions, cf. Section 10 of the Framework Regulations on prudent activities and the Management Regulations section 5 on barriers, Section 6 on the management of health, environment and safety and Section 21 on follow-up first and second paragraphs, we instruct Equinor to review own management security at HLNG, and take the necessary steps to ensure that you are able to:

  • Identify barriers that are impaired or out of order;
  • Assess the combination of impaired barriers;
  • Ensure that necessary compensatory measures are implemented;
  • Remedy barriers that are out of order or impaired.

Now, Equinor has until 31.12.2019 to comply with the order. PSA will be notified when the order is complied with, while the effect of the measures must be verified.