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Equinor Shuts Down Sleipner Complex After Two Gas Leaks

sleipner complex
Courtesy Equinor / Øyvind Gravås

Published Jul 12, 2022 7:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

After detecting two gas leaks at its Sleipner complex in the Norwegian North Sea, Equinor has shut the giant production complex down, reducing Norway's natural gas output just as it is trying to ramp up to meet European demand.

The first leak occurred near a turbine on the Sleipner A platform. Equinor's staff resolved the issue and began restarting production; at that point, another gas leak occurred at the nearby Sleipner R platform.

No one was injured in the accident and work is under way to return to normal operation, Equinor said. The incident has been reported and will be investigated by the relevant authorities. 

The Sleipner complex produces or handles gas from the Sleipner Øst, Gungne, Sleipner Vest, Sigyn, Gudrun, Utgard and Gina Krog fields, and it is among Norway's most important natural gas production facilities. It has four platforms for production, processing, export and habitation. It connects by pipeline to the giant Nyhamna onshore gas plant in Norway and to the Easington gas import terminal in the UK. 

Pipeline operator Gassco's dashboard estimates that the platform will be back online and operating on July 14. 

Just two weeks ago, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA Norway) published an investigation into a transformer short circuit and a fire pump breakdown aboard Sleipner A. PSA determined that the underlying causes included design flaws, aging equipment and a maintenance oversight on its fire pump systems.