Oil refinery fire in Norway

A fire that broke out early on Sunday July 3rd at Norway’s sole oil refinery, the Mongstad complex in Vestland, has been brought under control.

At about 05:50 on Sunday morning the Vestland police district were informed that flames and smoke could be seen at the refinery complex. The fire was located at a processing plant for gasoline. An evacuation of all nonessential personnel was undertaken. The fire has since been extinguished, the operator said.

The 230,000 bpd Mongstad refinery is operated by Equinor. it is the only one left in service in the nation after the closure of Exxon’s Slagen refinery last year.

The plant’s staff carried out a “controlled burning of trapped volumes through pressure relief,” accompanied by cooling of surrounding equipment. The fire was put out later the same day, and no injuries were reported.

The main processing plant of the refinery remains in operation, but the fire-damaged section has been taken offline.

Equinor said that the cause of the fire was currently under investigation in cooperation with regulators. It said that inspections and repairs would have to be carried out before the damaged segment of the plant could restart.

Mongstad takes in oil from Norway’s offshore Troll B, Troll C and Johan Sverdrup platforms. The plant produces four times as much refined oil (petrol and diesel) as Norway uses domestically, with about 80% of its output being exported. The marine terminal, the largest in Norway by tonnage, handles about 1,500 vessel calls a year.