Unclear when Mongstad refinery reformer can resume output, Equinor says

(Reuters) - Equinor is inspecting damage at a reformer at its 226,000 barrel per day (bpd) Mongstad refinery after a fire on Sunday and it is too soon to say when the unit will be operational, the Norwegian company said on Monday.

The fire at the oil refinery on Norway's west coast was extinguished early on Sunday, with the main part of the refinery still in operation.

"It was in a reformer," an Equinor spokesman told Reuters by email, adding that there was no estimate yet on when the unit could be restarted.

"We are doing inspections to get an overview ... we will investigate to clarify what caused the fire."

The reformer makes reformate, which is commonly used as an octane booster in gasoline.

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has launched an investigation into the fire, the authority said separately.

"The fire is thought to have started on a flange," PSA said in a statement, referring to equipment commonly used to connect pipes.

Mongstad is Equinor's largest and Norway's only refinery.

The wider Mongstad area contains refinery operations, a terminal for crude oil exports and other facilities.

(Reporting by Victoria Klesty Editing by David Goodman)

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