The Norwegian offshore oil and gas safety body is investigating an incident in which a walkway aboard an offshore vessel hit the Aker BP-operated Tambar platform in the North Sea offshore Norway.
The vessel in question is the Island Diligence offshore vessel, owned by the Norwegian offshore vessel owner Island Offshore. The incident happened on July 28. Nobody was injured, according to a statement released on Monday by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), nobody was injured in the incident.
Per PSA, the investigation is looking at Aker BP’s planning for introducing and using a motion-compensated walkway on Tambar.
Island Diligence was due to be used by Aker BP as a “walk to work” unit on the field. The incident occurred during a test program ahead of final mobilization. The walkway failed to connect as intended with the landing platform on the Tambar platform. This caused problems with controlling the walkway, which hit railings on the platform and then a cable bridge, PSA said.
According to the safety body, the PSA’s investigation is intended to clarify Aker BP’s processes with the emphasis on risk management and compliance with the company’s “see to it” duty in connection with introducing, planning for and use of a motion-compensated walkway on Tambar. Direct and underlying causes will be addressed, with particular emphasis on the planning process.
Order to seek consent
The incident happened a month after the PSA told Aker BP it must obtain consent from the regulator before using a vessel for accommodating personnel who are to execute work on the Tambar platform.
It is unclear if this order was related to the use of the Island Diligence at Tambar, however, the vessel owners’ website shows the Island Diligence as DP2 classed vessel capable of performing accommodation and walk-to-work duties.
PSA at the time said Aker BP’s application must contain a description of how gangways and cranes between the facility and vessel are designed to ensure that material handling and personnel traffic can take place, results of an analysis of working environment conditions for personnel executing work on Tambar including when they are on the vessel, and a statement from the elected union officers for the workers.
Discovered in 1983, the Aker BP-operated Tambar is an oil field about 16 kilometers south-east of the Ula field in the southern part of the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The water depth in the area is 68 meters. The reservoir lies at a depth of 4,100-4,200 meters.
The field has been developed with a remotely controlled wellhead facility without processing equipment and started production in 2001. The oil is transported to Ula through a pipeline. After processing at Ula, the oil is exported in the existing pipeline system via Ekofisk to Teesside in the UK, while the gas is injected into the Ula reservoir to improve oil recovery.
In 2017, a redevelopment project was initiated to extend the lifetime of Tambar with two new wells and gas lift, and an application for a license extension to 2028 was submitted.
In December 2017, an incident happened at the Tambar field leading to a death of one worker and one was seriously injured after falling off the Maersk Interceptor drilling rig.
Several breaches of the regulations were later identified, with the PSA saying that several people could have died had the circumstances been slightly different.