The LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) leak arose in connection with run-up of reactor R-5006 at the Mongstad facility. R-5006 is used to make petrol products.
The leak occurred in a stuffing box on a thermowell. The operator attempted to stop the leak by tightening the nut on the stuffing box. Because of the high pressure, the thermowell came loose and landed on the ground, about 30 metres from the reactor. The operator suffered a hand injury.
An emergency stop of the reactor was carried out, and the reactor was isolated and depressurised to the flare. Towards the end of the response to the gas leak from the thermowell, a new leak occurred in heat exchanger E-5002 as a result of a significant load following shutdown and depressurisation.
On 13 September 2010, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) decided to conduct an independent investigation of the incident.
The investigation identified two nonconformities in relation to the regulations; related to deficient inventory management and deficient competence. An improvement item was also identified in relation to risk assessment.
The PSA has asked Statoil to provide an account of how these nonconformities will be handled.
Øyvind Midttun, press contact
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