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Audit of arrangements for evacuation to the sea

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has conducted audits of Maersk Drilling Norge (Maersk), Transocean Offshore (Transocean) and Odfjell Drilling (Odfjell) with the focus on arrangements for evacuation to the sea from mobile units which hold an acknowledgement of compliance (AoC).

Deficiencies were identified in lifeboats on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) in 2005. Since then, the industry and the supervisory authorities have worked to strengthen knowledge in this area and to improve the technical condition of these craft.

Close follow-up of evacuation to the sea is still required. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which is the responsible ministry for the PSA, supports this assessment and has asked the authority to follow the matter up through audits.

The main challenges facing lifeboats used in petroleum operations on the NCS include the following.

Free-fall lifeboats

  • hull strength
  • safety of people on board, particularly the effect of acceleration forces on the human body
  • progress.

Davit-lowered lifeboats

  • hull strength
  • safe and effective detachment of hooks after launching
  • safety of people on board, particularly the effect of acceleration forces on the human body
  • progress

Audits have been conducted in recent months with Maersk, Transocean and Odfjell to see how they have established, verified and maintained the evacuation barrier function on all their facilities which hold an AoC and are equipped with lifeboats (free-fall or davit-lowered).

The goal of these supervisory activities was to verify that technical, organisational and operational conditions related to the evacuation barrier function were established, verified and maintained in compliance with the applicable regulations, so that personnel on these facilities can be evacuated quickly and efficiently at all times.

Nonconformities from the regulations were identified in all the audits. They were the same at Maersk, Transocean and Odfjell, and concern deficiencies in establishing, verifying, documenting and following up performance requirements as the basis for the barrier function on evacuation to the sea pursuant to section 5, paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of the management regulations on barriers.

The PSA has asked the companies to provide it with an explanation no later than 23 November 2018 of how they intend to deal with these nonconformities.

Øyvind Midttun, press contact
Email: oyvind.midttun@ptil.no | +47 51 87 34 77