Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has ordered Statoil Petroleum AS to why the company ignored a decision by the PSA that its camp at Melkøya, Finnmark, Norway, should not be used during planned shutdowns at Hammerfest LNG. The order is legally binding.
On 20 February 2013, Statoil received consent to use the accommodation camp in connection with planned shutdowns at Hammerfest LNG at Melkøya, once the facility had been shut down and depressurised. The consent applies up to 31 December 2017. In December 2013, Statoil applied for consent to also use the accommodation camp during the decommissioning and recommissioning period in connection with the planned shutdown in May/June 2014, when the facility was not depressurised. The application was rejected by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway in a decision of 6 February 2014.
PSA Norway believed that persons staying and sleeping in the accommodation camp would be exposed to higher risk during periods when the facility had not been fully depressurised and shut down. “Experience also shows that the risk of leaks and injury at the facility is higher during shutdown and startup than during stable operations” says the PSA.
This decision was not appealed by Statoil, which chose to use the accommodation camp during decommissioning and recommissioning for the shutdown.
PSA has ordered Statoil: “Pursuant to the Framework Regulations, section 69 concerning administrative decisions, the Framework Regulations, section 7 concerning responsibilities pursuant to these regulations, and the Management Regulations, section 21 concerning follow-up, Statoil is ordered to identify direct and underlying causes for why decisions were taken in this matter contrary to the authority’s decision, identify necessary measures in the company and implement them.
The deadline for complying with the order is set at 1 September 2014. We are to be notified when the order has been carried out.”
In May 2014 a hydrocarbon leaked occurred at the same facility which a PSA report claims: “…had a big accident potential and could have led to loss of life.”