Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG Commences Operations

Rendering of one of the largest floating production storage and offloading (FPSOs) in Brazil, which is expected to have a production capacity of 220,000 bpd and two million barrels in storage capacity. (Image Courtesy Of Equinor SA)

Equinor ASA (Equinor) commenced operations at its Hammerfest liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, situated on Melkoya Island in Norway.

The company is preparing to commence LNG production, following a 20-month outage due to a fire incident. Equinor operates the Hammerfest facility, which has a processing capacity of more than 4 MTPA.

In September 2020, Equinor shut the Hammerfest LNG facility due to the damages caused by the fire on the air intake on one of the facility’s five power turbines. The company initially stated that the facility would be closed for almost 12 months for repair.

The Hammerfest facility suffered continued time overrun issues since the fire. Eventually, the facility started operations after extensive maintenance work and an improved operational period, including checking more than 22,000 components and replacing 111 miles (180 km) of electrical cables.

Hammerfest is the only large-scale LNG facility in Europe. Once fully operational, it can process 18.4 million cubic meters of gas per day. This is equivalent to 5% of Norway’s gas export capacity. The facility receives and processes natural gas from the Snohvit field in the Barents Sea. The gas is transferred in a 99-mile (160-km) pipeline, which transports the field’s well stream to the Hammerfest LNG plant.

Equinor is a player in the global LNG market. The restoration of the facility would address the plight of Europe’s strained LNG market, which has been seeking alternatives to Russian supplies due to the country’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine.