Norwegian state oil company Equinor logged one of its most troubled years ever last year, as it lurched from one scandal to another. This year isn’t getting off to better start as Equinor finds itself in trouble with environmental authorities again.
Now the issue is allegedly deficient maintenance at its large Mongstad oil refinery that’s earlier been cited for leaks. An inspection in December found a lack of preventive maintenance work on drainage systems, failure to follow up on directives and failure to inspect a lengthy series of pipes since 2008.
“It’s difficult to see that Equinor Mongstad has control and an overview over conditions on its entire OSR (pipe) system,” declared the environmental directorate (Miljødirektoratet) in its report cited by newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). The state officials are threatening fines of around NOK 500,000.
An Equinor spokesman claimed Equinor was underway with a “comprehensive improvement program” at Mongstad. Equinor has also been dealing with a some serious accidents including a fire at its Melkøya gas plant in Hammerfest. Members of Parliament are also calling for an investigation of the environmental and health consequences of of Equinor’s highly controversial land-based oil and gas projects in the US, which have cost the company more than NOK 200 billion.