Songa’s Cat D rig in barrier management check-up

Norway’s offshore safety watchdog, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has found a non-conformity and three improvement points during an audit of Songa Offshore’s overall barrier management on the Songa Equinox semi-submersible rig.

PSA said on Thursday it found one non-conformity regarding barrier functions and MOB suits while the improvement points were connected to the training of the emergency response team, the maintenance program, and training and drills.

The first, onshore, part of the audit was held with representatives of Songa Management A/S on August 22. PSA conducted its audit onboard the Songa Equinox from August 23-26 at which time it conducted verifications, reviewed documents and interviewed management and other personnel.

PSA participated as observers in an emergency drill and a scenario-based dialogue about a well incident, which evolved into an emergency, conducted with relevant personnel present.

The scenario was based on drilling a 17 1/2″ hole which escalated out of control with a subsequent evacuation.

The safety body added that the objective of the audit was to verify that the interaction between operational, organizational and technical barrier elements was being catered in a coherent and consistent manner, so as to achieve the greatest possible risk reduction.

This entails awareness of which barriers have been established and their intended function, as well as the performance requirements defined for the specific barrier elements necessary to ensure their individual effectiveness.

Songa Equinox was the first rig in a series of four semi-submersible Category D drilling rigs specifically built for and contracted to Statoil.

The rig is a sixth generation, high specification, harsh environment, midwater rig designed for year around drilling, completion, testing and intervention operations in water depths up to 500 meters. It is DP3 certified and equipped with a drill floor and layout with improved safety and working environment features.

It is a GVA 4000 design built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea.

Songa Equinox received an Acknowledgment of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in November 2015 and now operates for Statoil on the Troll field in license 054 and 058.

Songa Offshore has been given a deadline of November 11 to report on how the non-conformity and improvement points will be dealt with.

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