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Investigation following gas leak at Mongstad, 8 February 2010

On 8 February 2010, an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) leak occurred in connection with insulation of pipes at Statoil's Mongstad terminal. During the work to join two plates to enclose the insulation, a hole was drilled into a pipe bearing hydrocarbons. This resulted in a 300 kg leak during the course of 72 minutes. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has investigated the incident.

Mongstad (source: Statoil)

No personnel were injured and, in our opinion, the incident did not cause harm to the external environment.

The temperature of the gas that leaked out was 200 degrees Celsius. If the gas flow had struck the isolation worker in the face, the person could have suffered burn injuries.

The gas could also have been ignited, which could have resulted in structural damage.

During our investigation we identified two nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements:

  • Deficient risk assessment in the planning phase
  • Deficient competence and understanding of risk

As regards elements with potential for improvement, we noted inadequate follow-up of language skills on the part of some of the employees.

Link to investigation report in the right-hand margin.

Journal 2010/143

Inger Anda, Director for communication and public affairs
Email: inger.anda@ptil.no | +47 970 54 064