Probe finds flaws in preparations for Oseberg wellhead platform use

Norwegian offshore safety agency the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has found several irregularities during its audit of Statoil’s preparation to use the Oseberg H platform that will be set in the North Sea. 

The Oseberg Vestflanken 2 is under development, with scheduled production start in 2018. The plan for development and operation (PDO) for Oseberg Vestflanken 2, located nine kilometers from the Oseberg field centre in the northern North Sea, was approved in June 2016.

The safety agency carried out an audit of Statoil’s configuration and preparations for use of Oseberg H platform on 4-5 October 2016. This was a cross-disciplinary activity, concentrated on the configuration and preparations for use of the Oseberg H platform.

The development solution chosen for Oseberg Vestflanken 2 is a fixed, unmanned wellhead platform. The Oseberg H is a simpler structure, without emergency quarters or a helideck, but with a support vessel permanently moored to it while there are personnel present. This is a new concept on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The objective of the audit was to verify that the configuration and preparations for use of Oseberg H are compliant with the regulations, and that prudent operation of the platform has been provided for.

The audit identified three non-conformities that included qualification and use of new technologies and new methods, as well as activities and evacuation.

Furthermore, improvement points were identified concerning simulation of gas dispersal, the basis of the maintenance program, noise, illumination, and training and involvement of safety representatives.

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