Engie gets notice of order following Gjøa gas leak investigation

Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), has given a notice of order to Engie E&P Norge following a completed investigation of a condensate leak on the Gjøa field off Norway.

The Engie-operated Gjøa gas field is situated 60 kilometers west of Florø, on the west coast of Norway. Developed with four subsea templates and a satellite well tied back to a semi-submersible production and processing facility, the field came on stream in 2010.

To remind, a gas leak on the Gjøa field occurred on June 21, 2017, prompting the company to stop production. The leak occurred in the process module which led to gas detection, a general alarm, automatic shutdown of the process plant, pressure blowdown, and mustering in accordance with the alarm instructions.

The PSA began the investigation two days later with a focus on discovering the underlying causes, both technical and operational, that may have contributed to the incident. Production from the platform began in early July 2017.

According to Engie’s estimates, the total quantity leaked was about 1.25 m³. Fortunately, the condensate did not ignite and no one was injured during the incident. The leak was halted after 30 minutes.


Notice of order following investigation


The PSA said on Tuesday that the direct cause of the leak was a fatigue fracture in a weld on a half-inch pipe nozzle installed on a condensate pump connected to the gas recompression system.

In connection with the emergency shutdown, it was registered that an emergency shutdown valve (ESV) upstream from the leak site failed to close.

In its investigation of the incident, the PSA found that Engie’s maintenance of the ESVs with associated actuators was inadequate. These problems were known over a long period but were not dealt with.

The investigation identified non-conformities from the regulations regarding barriers and the barrier management system, management and maintenance system, responding to vibration, and organization and management.

Also, the safety regulator discovered an improvement point related to carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals.

On the basis of the investigation’s findings, Engie was given a notice of order. In the notice of order, the PSA said that Engie had to take the necessary measures to ensure that safety-critical equipment is operated, tested, and maintained in a way which ensures the performance of the barriers at all times.

The offshore safety regulator informed Engie that it must comply with this order by February 2, 2018, at the latest.

To clarify, an order is an administrative decision and a strongly preventive instrument which is legally binding on the recipient, in this case, Engie. Before the PSA issues an order, it usually sends a notice of order to the affected companies which is neither an instrument nor a notice of sanctions.

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