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Improvements highlighted following fire on Petrojarl Knarr

Petrojarl Knarr
Petrojarl Knarr

A fire on board the Petrojarl Knarr FPSO has led to its owners being told to make improvements by Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority.

The PSA confirmed today it has completed its investigation into the March 24 early morning fire which broke out in the Knarr’s ventilation system which supplied air to the engine rook beneath the living quarters.

The PSA has asked owner Teekay Petrojarl to respond to the a number of non-conformities regarding safety testing and procedures by December 11.

The fire had been preceded by a power cut which shut down the fans in the HVAC unit. However, steam continued to be supplied to its heat exchanger. That caused high temperatures to develop in the unit, and air filter cassettes ignited eight hours later, the PSA found.

Technical investigations by the vessel’s owner have been unable to identify the direct cause of the filter ignition with any certainty. Had the fire damper valves failed to operate, smoke could have spread into the living quarters.

The incident led only to material damage. The fire was extinguished after about 30 minutes.

No injuries were caused by the incident.

Production was shut down, causing a loss of revenue for the company. The vessel came back on stream within a few days.

A number of nonconformities and improvement items have been identified by the PSA’s investigation. These non-conformities cover both technical conditions and areas related to emergency response.

The Knarr field lies in the Norwegian North Sea, about 50 kilometres north-east of Snorre. Petrojarl Knarr came on stream on March 18 this year, six days before the fire broke out.

Teekay Petrojarl Production AS (TKPJ) is the owner and operator of Petrojarl Knarr, while BG Norge Limited (BG) is operator for the field.

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