Offshore safety body looks into suitability of Statoil’s Cat J rig

Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has found one improvement point during an audit of Statoil’s site-specific analyses for the Askeladden Cat-J jack-up rig on the Gullfaks field.

The Askeladden reached Norway in September, carried by the Dockwise Blue Marlin heavy lift and transportation vessel. It is the first of two Cat-J rigs Samsung Heavy Industries has built for Statoil. The second unit, the Askepott, will arrive aboard the OHT Hawk.

Ordered in 2013, the new category J rigs will be able to operate in harsh environments at water depths from 70 to 140 meters and drill wells with lengths up to 10,000 meters. The primary use will be drilling and completion of production wells.

The new jack-up rig is owned by Statoil while KCA Deutag Drilling Norge (KCAD) is the operator. KCAD has applied for an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for the jack-up while Statoil has applied for consent to use it on the Gullfaks field.

Since this is the first time the rig will be used, the PSA said on Wednesday that it wanted to audit how Statoil was ensuring that the Askeladden was suitable for use on the Gullfaks field.

No regulatory non-conformities were identified while the single improvement point found was related to deficiencies in the analyses. The PSA asked Statoil for feedback on their assessment of the matter.

The safety watchdog added that it wanted to gain an insight into the geophysical surveys, specifications, structural analyses, and verifications, with an emphasis on the site-specific conditions.

The audit was done on September 14 and 15 at Statoil’s Forus premises and at GustoMSC in Schiedam, The Netherlands.

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