Two workers have been injured as a result of an explosion on Equinor’s Heimdal platform off Norway in the North Sea.

Equinor confirmed the “serious work-related incident” occurred on Thursday when a portable gas container exploded on the platform which, at the time, had 70 workers on board.

It added the two injured workers were taken care of by health personnel on board Heimdal before being transported to Haukeland University Hospital and Stavanger University Hospital with a SAR helicopter and a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre helicopter.

The Norwegian operator did not reveal the extent of the injuries suffered by the workers, stating only that the relevant authorities had been informed and updated, while adding the incident would be investigated further. It also confirmed it would be following up with the workers and their families.

The Heimdal gas centre lies in production licence 036 and is a hub for the processing and distribution of gas, consisting of an integrated steel platform and a riser platform.

The Heimdal gas field was discovered in 1972 and began production in 1986. It lies west of Sveio in Hordaland county, to the north of Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup field and south of Oseberg, near the border with the UK shelf.

After most of the gas reserves in the actual Heimdal reservoir had been produced towards the end of the 1990s, the field was modified to receive and process gas from the Huldra, Vale and Byggve-Skirne fields, with Atla and Valemon added later.

Equinor is currently carrying out studies to ensure the best utilisation of the Heimdal facilities and could potentially shut down operations at the two platforms in 2021 or 2022.

Equinor operates the Heimdal field with a 29.4% interest and is partnered by Petoro (20.0%), Total (16.7%), Spirit Energy (28.8%) and Lotos Exploration & Production (5%).