Electrical fire forces shutdown of Sable gas production
An electrical fire in a fuse box cabinet has shut down the flow of natural gas from a platform at the Sable Offshore Energy Project off Nova Scotia.
Tim Church, a spokesman for the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, said the "small electrical fire" on Tuesday resulted in a decision by operator ExxonMobil to cut off about 11.3 million cubic metres per day of gas production.
"Production shut down right away, the fire was extinguished. Personnel were mustered and that was essentially what caused the shutdown," he said Wednesday.
Church said the fire on the Thebaud platform was put out "within minutes" after igniting at about 2 a.m. There were no injuries or environmental problems caused by the incident, he added.
"ExxonMobil is looking into what caused the incident and what caused the problem. They'll be required to satisfy us that their go-forward work plan is acceptable from a safety perspective before they restart production," said Church.
In another incident after the fire, an alarm indicated smoke was coming from an overheated water pump attached to fire extinguishing hoses.
Merle MacIsaac, a spokesman for ExxonMobil, said the pump was damaged and production won't resume until it is repaired. He said the electrical box damage won't prevent the resumption of operations.
"None of the issues in the electrical area will prevent us from being operational," he explained.
MacIsaac said he can't speculate on how long it will take to repair the water pump, but he said "this is a repair that normally takes days, not weeks."
Church said ExxonMobil is filing a report to indicate how they can restart production.
The Thebaud compression platform is part of a complex that consists of three bridge-linked platforms. Workers who fought the fire came from the nearby processing platform, which also contains the living accommodations.