Gassco under spotlight as faults detected at Karsto gas plant

The Karsto gas processing plant. Picture from Gassco
The Karsto gas processing plant. Picture from Gassco

Norway’s oil industry safety body has given Gassco until the end of the month to say how it will address potential hazards detected at its Karsto gas processing facility at Tysvaer.

The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) carried out an audit in November and discovered that certain equipment and processes at the plant did not conform to industry standards.

The regulator said there were problems with the operation of electrical installations, protection against ignition and the spread of fire, emergency lighting and maintenance of explosion-proof equipment, among other things.

Improvement points were also flagged up for the facility’s heating cable installations and routines for testing safety equipment in its switchrooms.

The PSA has ordered Gassco, Karsto’s operator, to report on its plans to improve conditions at the plant by January 30.

It has also told Gassco and Statoil, the plant’s technical service provider, to “implement measures to secure personal safety” at the facility, located in Rogaland County, to the north of Stavanger.

A spokeswoman for Gassco said: “We take a serious view of this, as safety is extremely important for us. We have zero tolerance of all breaches of safety routines.

“We will be responding to Petroleum Safety Authority Norway’s report within the deadline of 30 January.”

Statoil has also been contacted for comment.