OSLO (Reuters) – A Norwegian navy tanker and frigate clashed on Thursday against the west coast of Norway, injuring eight people and triggering the closure of a North Sea oil export terminal, the largest gas treatment plant of Norway and several offshore fields.
The Norwegian frigate "KNM Helge Ingstad" takes water after a collision with the "Sola TS" oil tanker in Oygarden, Norway, on 8 November 2018. NTB Scanpix / Marit Hommedal via REUTERS
The frigate, which recently took part in a major NATO military exercise, was tilting, slowly sinking, live television images on one side. The Norwegian military said he was trying to save the ship.
"The military is conducting a rescue operation in cooperation with the coast guards," the Norwegian military said in a statement.
Even the Kollsnes gas plant, with a processing capacity of 144.5 million cubic meters per day, has been closed, said Equinor. It was not immediately clear when he would restart operations.
The plant processes gas from the fields of Troll, Kvitebjoern and Visund and sends it to Britain and the rest of Europe. The gas production of the Troll A platform was closed, said a spokesperson for Equinor.
UK wholesale gas prices increased before the accident and increased further. Gas for immediate delivery increased by 6.2 percent to 66.50 pence per therm at 1136 GMT. Norway is one of the main gas suppliers to Great Britain, so large outages can affect gas prices in the UK.
Flows from Norway to Britain decreased by 14-15 million cubic meters due to the interruption of Kollsnes.
"Norwegian crashes due to the collision drove the extra purchase in. The market was already quite bullish due to the lower temperatures, and it is not clear how long (interruptions) will last," said a British gas merchant .
There was no sign of loss from the Sola TS tanker, although he would return to the port for inspection, the head of the rescue Ben Vikoeren told Reuters at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center for Southern Norway.
The oil tanker had left the Equinor Sture Oil Expedition Terminal with a cargo of crude oil, and the facility was temporarily closed as a precautionary measure, the company said.
Sture's terminal receives oil from oil pipelines from a number of North Sea fields, including Oseberg, Grane, Svalin, Edvard Grieg and Ivar Aasen, which in turn are exported to global oil tanker markets.
The Sture terminal has a capacity to store one million cubic meters of crude oil and 60,000 cubic meters of liquefied petroleum gas in rock chambers.
The LPG mix and oil are also exported from the terminal via the Vestprosess pipeline to the Mongstad oil terminal.
It was not clear how long the Sture terminal would be closed, said Equinor, adding that the oil production of Oseberg and Grane, which the company operates, was closed as a result.
Oseberg is one of the raw flows at the base of the global Brent oil benchmark. Brent crude futures increased 71 cents to $ 72.78 a barrel per 1007 GMT.
Also the production of Ivar Aasen, which produced about 95,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in the third quarter, was closed, said operator Aker BP at Reuters.
Edvard Grieg's production in the field was also closed, said a source with knowledge of his operations.
The crew of the KNM Helge Ingstad frigate of 137 had been evacuated, said Vikoeren. Eight people reported minor injuries.
The Sola TS, an Aframax class ship built in 2017, belongs to Tsakos Energy Navigation, according to the company's website.
The KNM Helge Ingstad had recently taken part in the military exercise of NATO's Trident Juncate, focused on the defense of Norway.
Additional report by Camilla Knudsen, Nerijus Adomaitis and Nina Chestney, screenplay by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and David Evans