Photo: Johan Castberg tow to Stord; Credit: Jan Arne Wold & Roar Lindefjeld; Copyright: Equinor

Equinor’s giant new FPSO catches fire

Norwegian offshore engineering contractor Aker Solutions has revealed that a fire was detected at Equinor’s floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which is currently under construction at a yard in Norway.

Aker Solutions informed on Wednesday that smoke was discovered at 21:30 aboard Equinor’s FPSO Johan Castberg, which is currently docked at Aker Solutions’ yard in Stord for final completion.

According to the Norwegian contractor, all personnel working on the vessel “have been evacuated and there are no reports of injuries.” The firm confirmed that the fire was stopped shortly after it was detected.

This FPSO was towed to Aker Solutions at Stord, where its topside modules and turret will be installed before the hookup and completion, after the vessel arrived in Norway a few months ago, transported by Boskalis onboard the world’s largest transport vessel, Boka Vanguard.

Following final completion, the vessel is set to be deployed at the Johan Castberg field, which lies in the Barents Sea, 240 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest. The field, which is expected to be producing for more than 30 years, has proven volumes estimated between 400 and 650 million barrels of oil.

This field will be developed with an FPSO with additional subsea solutions – 18 horizontal production wells and 12 injection wells – while the oil will be offloaded to shuttle tankers and transported to the market. The FPSO Johan Castberg is roughly the size of three football fields, as it is 313 metres long and 55 metres wide.

The start-up of this project is no longer expected in the fourth quarter of 2022 due to delays and cost overruns, thus, it is now anticipated to come on stream in the fourth quarter of 2024.

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