Staff evacuated after fire breaks out on North Sea FPSO

A fire broke out in a store room at FPSO Petrojarl Foinaven (IMO 8887595), at BP’s Foinaven field, west of Shetland, on Saturday April 2nd. The fire necessitated an evacuation of non-essential staff.

“BP is working with the FPSO duty holder Altera Infrastructure after a fire was detected in a store room on board the vessel on Saturday,” BP said. The energy company said that the incident was brought under control and, as a precaution, 30 non-essential personnel were safely transferred to nearby installations. There had been 80 people on board at the time of the incident.

BP said that “five people were assessed for possible smoke inhalation but no further treatment was required. The safety of our staff and contractors is central to everything we do and we will continue to work with Altera Infrastructure and the relevant authorities to understand what happened on this occasion”.

Production from the Foinaven area was suspended in 2021 after it was announced the Petrojarl Foinaven FPSO was to be retired. Work had been proceeding in preparation for the vessel’s removal from the field, BP said.

Earlier this year, BP filed a decommissioning plan for the removal of the Petrojarl Foinaven FPSO and the recovery of associated mooring systems, the risers, and dynamic umbilicals from the Foinaven Field, which is located 160km west of Shetland in water depths of up to 600 metres. The 25-year-old FPSO and related equipment were to be transferred onshore for re-use, recycling, or disposal.

Although BP said in April last year that it had stopped production from the field in preparation for the FPSO removal, it also noted that there was a significant amount of oil still in the area and that BP and its partners were looking at options on how to produce what remained behind.

Altera Infrastructure, the FPSO duty holder, confirmed the incident and that the non-essential workers were transported by helicopter to nearby assets on the Saturday, and from there to shore on Sunday April 3rd.

1997-built, Bahamas-flagged, 43,279 gt Petrojarl Foinaven is owned by Petrojarl IV care of manager Altera Infrastructure Production AS of Trondheim, Norway. It is entered with Standard Club (Standard Offshore Division) on behalf of Britoil Ltd. It is entered with Gard (P&I MOU) on behalf of Petrojarl 4 DA.