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Safety issues uncovered at North Sea field

Norwegian energy major Equinor has until September to address safety issues on a facility at the Martin Linge field in the North Sea, an auditor stated Monday.

The Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway released the results of an audit of the Martin Linge B floating production facility in the North Sea. Equinor leases the structure Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers, a joint venture between Norwegian and Japanese companies.

"The audit detected non-conformities in the areas of procedures for cranes and lifting operations, completion of cranes and training," the PSA statement read. "Equinor has been given a deadline of Sept. 3 to report on how the non-conformities will be addressed."

Equinor had no response to the audit.

The company in May completed a transaction with Total that gave it a 70 percent stake in the Martin Linge oil and gas field in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea.

Total in November agreed to sell off its entire stake in a field estimated to hold 300 million barrels of oil equivalent. The Norwegian company said the field's infrastructure was modern, costs would be low and production could extend into the 2030s.

The collapse of a crane at the Geoje shipyard in South Korea in 2017 took place during the construction of the infrastructure for the Martin Linge field. The accident left six people dead and more than 20 others injured.

Less than a week before the accident, the PSA said the results of an audit found serious deficiencies that could impede the start of operations at Martin Linge. Equipment, the PSA said, was left exposed to dust, particles and other impurities.

The Norwegian government approved the development plan for Martin Linge in 2012.

Published: 06-08-2018

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