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Two hospitalised following explosion on Norwegian rig in North Sea

02 December 2019

Two employees were injured in an incident on the Heimdal platform in the Norwegian North Sea on November 28, according to operator Equinor. At the time of the incident, there were 70 people on the platform.

Heimdal platform - Image: Equinor
Heimdal platform - Image: Equinor

Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway at Equinor, said a controlled production shutdown had been implemented on the platform, and that an internal investigation was under way.

The two injured employees - a woman (19) and a man (22) - suffered injuries after a portable nitrogen gas container on the facility exploded in what Equinor termed "a serious work-related incident".

In an update on December 2, the Norwegian state-owned oil and gas producer said one of the two injured staff members was in a serious but not life-threatening condition and the other had sustained physical injuries. Both continue to receive medical treatment in hospital on the mainland.

Equinor said after the incident it sent extra personnel to the facility to provide additional support to Heimdal offshore personnel.

Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) said that a four-person investigation team had been sent to the platform.

"The principal objective of their work will be to establish the direct and underlying causes of the incident," it said. "The PSA team is going out to Heimdal together with the police, and will support the latter in their inquiries in addition to pursuing its own investigation."

PSA said its team would:
*study the course of events in detail
*identify and describe the actual and potential consequences of the incident
*establish the direct and underlying causes
*identify possible breaches of the regulations
*contribute to experience transfer and learning lessons for other players in the petroleum industry.

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