Fire Breaks Out at Norway's Only Refinery

The Mongstad complex is Norway's sole refinery, and it is home to its biggest loading terminal for offshore oil exports (Equinor file image)

Published Jul 4, 2022 6:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

A fire broke out Sunday at Norway's sole oil refinery, the Mongstad complex in Vestland, but the situation has been brought under control. 

At about 0550 hours on Friday morning, the Vestland police district received notice that flames and smoke were seen at the refinery complex. The fire was located at a processing plant for gasoline, prompting a mass evacuation of all nonessential personnel. 

The plant's staff carried out a "controlled burning of trapped volumes through pressure relief," accompanied by cooling of surrounding equipment. The fire was put out later the same day, and no injuries were reported. 

The main processing plant of the refinery remains in operation, but the fire-damaged section has been taken offline. 

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation in cooperation with regulators. Inspections and repairs will have to be carried out before the damaged segment of the plant can restart, Equinor said in a statement.

The 230,000 bpd Mongstad refinery is operated by Equinor, and it is the only one left in service in the nation after the closure of Exxon's Slagen refinery last year. Mongstad takes in oil from Norway's offshore Troll B, Troll C and Johan Sverdrup platforms. The plant produces four times as much gasoline and diesel as Norway can use domestically, and about 80 percent of its output is exported. Its marine terminal is the largest in Norway by tonnage and handles about 1,500 vessel calls every year.