The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway has carried out an audit of four drilling consultancy companies: Acona Well Management Services, AGR Petroleum Services AS, Rig Management Norway and Ross Offshore.
The PSA says that it is the operating company that has overall responsibility for ensuring the regulatory compliance of its activities, but the regulations also state that anyone participating in the activities has responsibilities and obligations under the petroleum regulations.
Therefore, in 2014, the PSA carried out an audit in the form of half-day meetings with four companies that supply drilling and well services to operating companies through contractual agreements.
According to the PSA, the purpose of the audit was to obtain information about the competence, capacity and organisation of these companies. The audit covered management systems and the manning of individual projects, with a focus on how HSE-related functions are catered for when undertaking well activities.
The audit showed that in general the companies have established independent management systems in accordance with regulatory requirements and relevant standards for the scope of their activities, the PSA informs.
One aspect that the audit focused on was whether systems had been established for the follow-up of employee qualifications and of incidents. The PSA revealed that some of the companies had not developed their systems to include further follow-up of incidents, but relied instead on the drilling contractor’s and operating company’s systems for experience transfer in the event of serious incidents.
A common feature of all the consultancy companies was the limited extent to which they participated in the operators’ review and verification activities during the planning process.
With regard to emergency preparedness plans for a prolonged, serious well-control incident or blow-out, none of the companies had evaluated their own robustness in respect of being able to assist the operator with organisation, measures and expertise for handling the situation in question.
However, these factors are not currently defined as requirements in the regulations. Accordingly, no non-conformities or improvement points were identified during this audit.