Equinor Delays Offshore Maintenance due to Coronavirus

March 20, 2020

Troll C platform - Equinor- Photo Øyvind Hagen
Troll C platform - Equinor- Photo Øyvind Hagen

Norway's Equinor said on Friday it will delay spring maintenance work at its Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and five offshore platforms due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Separately, Norway's gas system operator Gassco said annual maintenance at the Kaarstoe gas processing plants scheduled for April to May was canceled, also as a result of coronavirus.

Equinor is the technical service provider at Kaarstoe, where it is in charge of daily operations on behalf of Gassco.

The maintenance had been expected to last from April 24 to April 25 with a production reduction capacity of 86.6 mcm/day, and from April 24 until May 13 with a production capacity reduction of 75.6 million cubic metres, Gassco said.

Maintenance at gas import terminals at Emden and Dornum in Germany, which receive gas from Kaarstoe, was also cancelled during the same period, it added.

Kaarstoe is also one of the world's largest producers of liquefied petroleum gases – propane and butanes – which are shipped to customers worldwide.

Maintenance was postponed at the Hammerfest LNG plant in Arctic Norway, as well as Aasgard A and B, Norne, Kristin, and Troll C offshore platforms, an Equinor spokesman said.

"They were planned this spring, now we will assess (a) new time schedule for this," he added.

The company said on Monday it would reduce non-critical activity offshore and has asked employees who are currently working offshore to extend their rotation to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Aasgard and Kristin were due for maintenance from April 24 to May 17, reducing gas production by 27 million cubic metres per day (mcm/day) and 16 mcm/day respectively, according to Gassco data.

Troll was due to see maintenance on May 12-13 reducing gas production by 80 mcm/day, Gassco data showed, followed by maintenance on May 13-29 reducing gas production by 42 mcm/day.

The details for maintenance at Norne were not immediately available. 

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, writing by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Victoria Klesty, Kirsten Donovan and Alexander Smith)



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