Explosion risk shuts down ‘Goliat’ platform

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Norwegian authorities have ordered another shutdown of the huge problem-plagued Goliat platform in the Barents Sea. Now they claim the electrical system on board the platform is so poorly secured that it could set off an explosion.

The Goliat FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) platform has a long history of problems. PHOTO: Eni Norge

Magazine Teknisk Ukeblad reported that the oil industry’s regulatory agency Petroleumtilsynet is dissatisfied with conditions on board Goliat. The electrical system was said to be “incompatible with operation” of the huge floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) platform on the Goliat field northwest of Hammerfest.

Goliat was built in South Korea, finally delivered after lengthy delays and since has been shut down on several occasions. Offshore workers have earlier claimed they were afraid to work on the platform that also has been hit by an evacuation since it finally started producing oil in April of last year.

Now its operator, Eni Norge, faces more disruption in production and more costs. Inger Anda of the regulatory agency said there always is a large potential for accidents if sources of sparks come in contact with gas. She added that it’s highly unusual that such electrical equipment is not secured on an oil platform. “That’s something an operator must have control over,” she said.

An Eni Norge spokesman said the company was taking the injunction against Goliat in stride and would meet all the demands of the regulators. The current shutdown may continue for several weeks, until improvements are verified and the regulators are satsfied with improvements ordered.

newsinenglish.no staff