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Long-term closure at major Norwegian gas plant after fire

A fire last month at Europe's largest natural gas liquefication plant in Norway means the facility will be closed for up to a year for repairs, the operator said Monday.

The fire broke out in a turbine at the Hammerfest LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant in northern Norway September 28.

"Surveys of the damage after the fire at Hammerfest LNG... indicates that the LNG plant will be closed for up to 12 months for repairs," operator Equinor said in a statement.

The plant was evacuated as the fire raged for six hours, although no injuries were reported.

Located on the island of Melkoya, the plant liquefies natural gas from the offshore Snohvit field, located 145 kilometres from the plant.

Operations at Snohvit have also been suspended pending the repairs.

The natural gas field was the first to be exploited in the Barents Sea in 2007 and in 2019 it produced 7.3 billion cubic metres of gas.

The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), police and Equinor have all launched investigations into the cause of the fire.

In addition to Equinor, which holds 36.8 percent, the Snohvit field is owned by the Norwegian state-owned company Petoro with 30 percent, France's Total 18.4 percent, Neptune Energy 12 percent and Germany's Wintershall Dea 2.8 percent.

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TOTAL

EQUINOR