Production of natural gas from Norway's Asgard B semi-submersible platform remains in shutdown mode after a fire broke out there last Sunday, causing the partial evacuation of offshore personnel.
The blaze was extinguished after production was shut down at the platform, and nobody was injured. However, production remains shut in, a spokesperson for operator Equinor told Upstream.
The production unit is located 200 kilometres off the coast of Trondelag and 50 kilometres south of Equinor’s giant Heidrun oil and gasfield in the Norwegian Sea.
The stoppage has affected Norwegian gas production because Asgard B was operating at very close to its nameplate capacity of 20 million cubic metres per day when the accident occurred, according to Norwegian gas grid operator Gassco.
Norwegian gas producers have been maximising their production in recent months to respond to Europe's demand for an alternative to Russian gas supplies in an ongoing effort to pressure Moscow into ending its invasion of Ukraine.
Gassco data showed that gas flows from the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) to Europe were running at 316 MMcmd on 13 November, but were down to 304 Mmcmd on 14 November and 294.9 MMcm on Tuesday.
However, part of this decline was attributed to unscheduled maintenance works at the capacity Visund gas field, where nameplate capacit is 9 MMcmd.
The Equinor spokesperson consulted by Upstream stated: "Production at Asgard B is still shut down. Work is ongoing with regards to inspection of the site in question.”
“Our priority is to resume operations in a safe manner and at the moment we cannot indicate a start-up date."