Equinor's Arctic LNG Plant to Resume Production Next Week After Gas Leak Shutdown

Melkøya plant - Image: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor
Melkøya plant - Image: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor

Norway's Equinor plans to restart production at its Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Hammerfest on June 8 after it was shut down on May 31 due to a gas leak, the company said in a market message on Thursday. 

The facility will be unavailable until 2100 GMT on June 8, according to a message posted via the transparency page of Norwegian gas infrastructure operator Gassco. 

Equinor halted production after it detected a gas leak on a cooling circuit valve. The leak had been plugged late on Wednesday. Europe's only large-scale LNG plant, at Melkoeya island just outside the Arctic town of Hammerfest, can process 18.4 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas per day when fully operational, just over 5% of Norway's gas export capacity. 

At Melkoeya, gas is piped in from the offshore Snoehvit field, 160 km (100 miles) away in the Barents Sea. 

The Hammerfest LNG partnership includes Equinor, Petoro, TotalEnergies, Neptune Energy, and Wintershall Dea. 

(Reuters - Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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