Offshore safety body spots irregularities on Troll drilling ops

Norwegian offshore safety watchdog, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has found irregularities during an audit of Equinor and COSL Drilling Europe’s planning and execution of drilling and well operations at the Troll field offshore Norway.

Troll A; Photographer: Øyvind Hagen; Source: Equinor

Located in the North Sea, Troll is Norway’s biggest gas producer, with enormous reserves still left in the ground. After more than 20 years on stream, about 65% of the gas has still not been recovered. In addition, Troll has also been Norway’s biggest oil producer for the past five years.

In July, Equinor and the partners in the Troll license submitted the plan for further development of the gigantic Troll field with capital expenditures for the project estimated at NOK 7.8 billion ($957.3M), helping extend the life of the Troll field beyond 2050.

The offshore safety body said on Wednesday that the audit was conducted from May 14 to 24, 2019.

The objective of the audit was to verify whether Equinor and COSL, along with their contractors, were meeting the regulatory requirements relating to the management of planning, risk assessment and performance of drilling and well operations.

Seven non-conformities were identified during the audit. Namely, Equinor’s management’s follow-up of presented measures following previous audits, capacity in Equinor’s drilling and well-planning department for Troll, training, instruction and practice routines relating to personnel tasked with securing barrier functions in the event of a well control incident.

Other non-conformities are related to ownership/maintenance and certification of third-party equipment, training and competence in the Automatic Disconnect System, certification of the BOP control system, and follow-up of measures following an audit of emergency preparedness working environment and employee participation on COSL Promoter in 2017.

Also, three improvement points were identified in connection with safety service and genuine employee participation, quality of DOP and use of risk matrixes for Troll, and chemical health hazards

The PSA added that Equinor and COSL were given a deadline of September 13 to report on how the non-conformities and improvement points would be addressed.

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