Offshore safety watchdog launches investigation into Heimdal incident

Norwegian offshore safety watchdog has launched an investigation into a serious work accident on the Equinor-operated Heimdal field in the North Sea on November 28, 2019.

The Heimdal platform
The Heimdal platform; Credit: Øyvind Hagen/Equinor

As reported earlier on Friday, two Equinor employees were injured in a serious work-related incident on board the Heimdal platform on Thursday.

Equinor said on Friday that the incident had occurred as a result of an explosion of a portable gas container on board, and was reported in to Equinor’s emergency response centre at 1806 CET. There were 70 personnel on board the platform when the incident occurred.

In a separate statement on Friday, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) said it had decided to initiate an investigation into the accident and that its team would go to Heimdal today.

The main purpose of the investigation is to find direct and underlying causes of the incident.

The PSA is going to Heimdal with the police, and in addition to its own investigation, the safety watchdog will assist the police in their investigation.

The safety authority said it would review the course of events, uncover and describe the actual and potential consequence of the incident, identify triggering and underlying causes, detect any regulatory violations and contribute to transfer of experience and learning for other players in the oil industry.

The Heimdal gas field, located in the North Sea, started production in 1985. It consists of an integrated steel platform, and a riser platform.

Current Heimdal partners are Equinor (29.4% – operator), Petoro (20%), Total E&P Norge (16.7%), Spirit Energy (28.8%) and LOTOS Exploration and Production (5%).

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