Safety audit reveals irregularities on Statoil’s Gullfaks C

Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has found three non-conformities and four improvement points during an audit of the Statoil-operated Gullfaks C off Norway. 

The PSA said on Monday that the audit of Statoil’s management of drilling, emergency preparedness, and the working environment at Gullfaks C was conducted from November 6 – 11.

The Gullfaks C platform was located on the Gullfaks field in the northern sector of the North Sea.

The object of the audit was to verify safe operations in late life, including the technical condition of the drilling facilities, and well control equipment at Gullfaks C, as well as to review manning, competence and compatibility of tasks in emergency preparedness, including training, and exercises.

“[The audit] focused on established processes to ensure that assumptions, prerequisites, limitations, and recommendations in the emergency preparedness analysis for Gullfaks C were catered for and that these were communicated out to the emergency preparedness organisation, so that the operator, in a period of late-life operations, is maintaining a robust and competent emergency preparedness organisation,” the safety body said.

The agency also wanted to evaluate whether Statoil’s management of Gullfaks C met regulatory requirements within the working environment area and whether the facility was designed to ensure that workers are not exposed to working environment factors that exceed the levels specified in the regulations and referenced standards.

In this context, the offshore safety watchdog wanted to monitor that Statoil was working systematically to prevent major accidents.

During the audit, the PSA found three non-conformities. These included health risks associated with chemicals, risks of noise-related hearing damage, and deficient identification and maintenance of well-control equipment.

Improvement points discovered included an improved system for follow-up after training, a lack of over-pressure in rooms in the drilling module, uncertainty linked to corrosion of vital and/or safety-critical systems, and genuine employee participation.

The PSA told Statoil to assess the improvement points and report on how the non-conformities would be addressed by March 19, 2018.

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