An investigation into a gas leak at the Karsto facility in Norway could have caused “serious personal injuries and potential fatalities”, according to a new report.
The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has released its findings into the incident which happened in January this year.
It comes after a gas leak was detected during normal operations in the Statpipe receiving area at Karsto.
The PSA said the initial leak rate was estimated to be 1.3kg, leasting for more than nine hours.
The leaked volume was said to be around .22 metric tonnes.
The report said: “The leak occurred due to a fatigue fracture in a free standing instrument fitting pipe branch. The fatigue fracture was due to bend stresses from wind loads in combination
with lack of adequate pipe supports and coincidence between the system’s natural frequencies and the vortex induced vibration frequencies at normal wind speeds.
“The reason that the leak lasted as long as 9.5 hours was an absence of pressure relief opportunities from the control room for the processing segment where the leak occurred.
“No-one was injured in the incident and the material damage was minor. However, the incident did have escalation potential relating to possible ignition of the gas leak, where parts of a gas-
transporting pipe could have been exposed to jet fire and heat radiation.
“If personnel had been in the proximity of the leak in the event of ignition, this could have caused serious personal injuries and potential fatalities.”
The PSA investigation found non-conformities related to mechanical bracing of instruments, learning and improvements and deficient plans for pressure relief in an emergency situation.
The Karsto gas processing and condensate facility is in Tysvaer in Rogaland country and the operator is Gassco.
Statoil is the technical services provider.