Offshore safety audit reveals irregularities on Shell’s Draugen

Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has found irregularities during a technical barriers management audit of the Shell-operated Draugen platform off Norway.

Draugen is an oil field in the Norwegian Sea, around 150 km north of Kristiansund. Norske Shell, a Norwegian subsidiary of oil giant Shell, is the field’s operator.

The audit of Shell’s management of technical barriers at Draugen was carried out from February 5 to 8. The objective was to verify how Shell was ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements linked to technical barriers and maintenance at Draugen within the disciplines of technical safety and surface protection.

The PSA said on Monday that the audit was conducted to conform with one of the priority tasks for 2018 given by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

Namely, the Ministry said that “the risk of major accidents in the petroleum sector shall be reduced” in 2018 and the PSA would conduct audits of the robustness of technical and organizational solutions and the risk of hydrocarbon leaks to help with the task.

The safety watchdog added that the audit covered selected themes including organization, roles, and responsibilities, management of barriers and maintenance, operational procedures/work processes, planning and execution of work, change and deviation management, and modification projects.

The PSA found four non-conformities in connection with process fires, performance requirements, firewater system, and, warning and notification of hazard and accident situations.

The safety body also found improvement points regarding firefighting using fixed CO2 extinguishing systems, passive fire protection, reporting and follow-up of barriers in the maintenance system, and automatic firewater deluge in the event of confirmed gas detection.

Shell has been given a deadline of May 31, 2018, to report on how the non-conformities and improvement points would be addressed.

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