In connection with the incident on Visund on 19 January 2006, we have uncovered a potentially dangerous condition in connection with the discharge assembly on the flare KO drum.
The discharge assembly is designed with a deflector plate placed in front of the outlet. At high flow rates, the plate may be subjected to aerodynamic forces resulting in deformation of the deflector plate and, in extreme cases, plugging of the outlet from the KO drum.
We emphasize that the investigation of the incident is not yet complete, however, the main features have been sufficiently clarified so as to identify the above-mentioned dangerous condition. The deflector plate is shaped like a drawer with an opening toward the end base, which is closest to the outlet of the KO drum.
The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway is aware that several KO drums of similar design are currently in use.
We ask the operators to investigate whether the above-mentioned dangerous condition could exist on their facilities and plants.
We ask that you submit your response concerning this investigation by 3 February 2006.