The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority reprimanded Statoil on Thursday for a potentially fatal gas leak that shut down the Hammerfest LNG plant in January.

That plant was shut down for three days while the leak was being investigated.

“The hydrocarbon leak at the Hammerfest LNG facility in northern Norway on 5 January 2014 had a big accident potential and could have led to loss of life,” said the PSA.

There were no injuries during the incident, but the PSA said two operators who were in the vicinity of the leak could have been killed if the gas had ignited.

The PSA said a likely gasket failure caused between 250 kilos and 750 kilos of gas to leak from a stuffing box at the plant.

In an audit report published Thursday, the PSA said too much time had elapsed from when the alarm sounded until the gas pressure was reduced at the plant.

PSA has ordered Statoil to explain how it would fix the issues.


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