The Norwegian frigate "KNM Helge Ingstad" takes on water after a collision with the tanker "Sola TS" in Oygarden, Norway.
Oslo: An oil tanker and a Norwegian navy frigate collided off Norway’s western coast on Thursday, triggering the shutdown of a major nearby export terminal for North Sea crude, Norway’s largest gas processing plant and several offshore fields.
There was no sign of any leak from the Sola TS oil tanker, although it will return to port for inspection, rescue leader Ben Vikoeren at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway told Reuters.
The tanker had left Equinor’s Sture oil shipment terminal with a cargo of crude, and the facility will be temporarily shut as a precautionary measure, the company said.
The Kollsnes gas plant, with a processing capacity of 144.5 million cubic metres per day, has also been shut, Equinor said. The plant processes gas from the Troll, Kvitebjoern and Visund fields and sends it to Britain and the rest of Europe.
The Sture terminal receives oil via pipelines from a string of North Sea fields, including the Oseberg, Grane, Svalin, Edvard Grieg and Ivar Aasen, which in turn is exported to global markets on oil tankers.
It was not clear for how long the terminal will remain closed, an Equinor spokeswoman said.
Production at Ivar Aasen has been shut down, operator Aker BP told Reuters. Production at the Edvard Grieg field was also shut down, a source with knowledge of its operations said.
The KNM Helge Ingstad frigate took on water and was at risk of sinking. Its crew of 137 had been evacuated, Vikoeren said.
The Sola TS, an Aframax class vessel built in 2017, belongs to Tsakos Energy Navigation, according to the company’s website.
The KNM Helge Ingstad had recently taken part in NATO’s Trident Juncture military exercise, which centred on the defence of Norway.