Norway: Safety Watchdog Launches Investigation into Offshore Platform Fire

November 21, 2022

Åsgard B - Photographer / Originator: Øyvind Hagen / Production Company: Equinor
Åsgard B - Photographer / Originator: Øyvind Hagen / Production Company: Equinor

The Norwegian offshore oil and gas safety regulator Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has decided to investigate a fire in a transformer on Equinor's Åsgard B platform in the Norwegian Sea. The incident occurred on November 14, 2022.

Breaking out in a transformer room, the fire was extinguished but produced smoke and led to a production shutdown. No personal injuries have been reported as a result of the incident, the PSA said.

When the fire broke out, there were 118 people on Asgard B, and 56 of them were transferred to another facility by search and rescue (SAR) helicopter. The police have been notified of the incident, the PSA said.

"A serious view of the incident is taken by the PSA, which has decided to launch an investigation. The main objectives of the investigation are to identify the causes of the incident and possible lessons learnt, and to share this information with the industry," the PSA said.

The PSA will work to clarify the course of events and the scope of the incident, assess its actual and potential consequences, and assess its direct and underlying causes. The watchdog said it would identify nonconformities and improvement points related to the regulations, apply necessary enforcement powers to correct possible regulatory breaches, and make its findings public.

Åsgard B is a semi-submersible floating platform with processing facilities for gas treatment and oil and condensate stabilization that began operations on October 1, 2000. The platform was developed by Kværner and the hull was built by Daewoo Heavy Industries in Korea. 

The topside modules came from Poland, Russia, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Egersund, and were mated with the hull in Stavanger. In 2000, the platform was the largest semi-submersible platform ever built for production, with a topside weight of 33,700 tonnes.



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