Norway: Offshore safety body spots irregularities at Valhall PH

The Norwegian offshore safety watchdog, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has noted several breaches of regulations and room for improvement during an audit of BP’s Valhall PH facility in the North Sea, offshore Norway.

To remind, BP was granted consent for the use of Valhall PH as a living quarters facility in February 2011 and the PSA gave the oil giant consent to operate wells on the Valhall field via its onshore control room in November of the same year.

In 2012, BP introduced a new concept where the control room functions were split between two control rooms, one on Valhall and one onshore. This resulted in a PSA audit after the offshore control room was moved from the Valhall PCP in March 2013 onto the production and living quarters facility, Valhall PH. No non-conformities were found at that time.

From early November 2015, the wells on the Valhall field, including the Flanke Sør, Flanke Nord and Hod wells have been controlled from a central control room on the Valhall PH. In connection with this change, personnel in the control room were assigned new duties and responsibilities.

Due to such changes, PSA’s audit had the specific task of deciding if BP’s planning, execution, and follow-up of the change process is in compliance with regulatory requirements.

The audit revealed two non-conformities in connection with decision support and decision criteria, and with performance requirements as well as an improvement point regarding planning.

PSA informed BP that the deadline for reporting on how the non-conformities and improvement point will be dealt with is September 1.

Valhall is an oilfield in the southern Norwegian North Sea. Production started in 1982 and following commissioning of the new PH platform in 2013 the field now has the potential to continue producing for over four decades.

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