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Audit of COSL's engineering and construction of drilling facilities in China

Audit: During the period 8 - 11 February 2010, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of COSL Drilling Europe AS' (COSL's) engineering and construction of drilling facilities at the construction yard Yantai in China.


The yard currently has three drilling facilities under construction and final completion: COSLPioneer, COSLInnovator and COSLPromoter.

The audit will be included as part of the consideration of future applications for Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for COSLInnovator and COSLPromoter.

Background for the audit
COSLPioneer, COSLInnovator and COSLPromoter are three almost identical semi-submersible dynamically positioned drilling facilities of the type GM4000.

COSLInnovator (source: COSL)

The facilities are assembled and constructed at the Yantai Raffles Shipyard (YRS) in China. The drilling package is delivered by National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and was constructed by Nymo in Grimstad.

COSL has signed a contract with Statoil for use of the facilities COSLInnovator and COSLPromoter on the Troll field.

The company will apply to the PSA for an AoC for the facilities in connection with operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The AoCs will be included in the documentation for Statoil's future applications for consent to start drilling activities with the facilities on the Norwegian Shelf.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the PSA's audit at such an early stage of the project is to facilitate a better understanding of the regulations by giving advice based on some of the challenges we have experienced in our processing of AoCs for other new construction projects.

We have seen the value of providing such advice particularly to new players who are building new facilities at shipyards with little or no experience with Norwegian regulations.

The objective of the activity was also to verify that the project had established the necessary management system to ensure that the technical conditions on the installations are safeguarded according to the requirements through the engineering and construction stage.

The verifications were based on the company's own governing documents and studies/analyses.

Result of the audit
Within the areas we investigated, COSL has selected technical solutions which safeguards the requirements of the petroleum regulations in a good manner.

One challenge will be to ensure that all the findings identified (by the company itself, by the classification company or others) during the various mappings and follow-up activities, are closed in a satisfactory manner.

If the company succeeds, we see no significant issues at the moment which could prevent the use of this facility on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

An important success factor will be to maintain the professional expertise in the construction site team, and let this team continue their work to ensure continuity and transfer of lessons learned. This will contribute to safeguarding equally good solutions on COLSInnovator and COSLPromoter as on COSLPioneer (which has progressed furtherst in the construction process).

This applies both to personnel from COSL and from the construction yard YRS.

As regards the safety systems, the design basis shows that  good and robust solutions have been used. The company has competent professionals on the construction site. Through close follow-up and good administrative follow-up systems, we feel that the company has every chance of achieving good quality systems.

COSL safeguards the maintenance preparations in a satisfactory manner. The PSA has no comments on the system presented for Mechanical Completion and Commissioning (MC&C). These activities will be important for the project to reach its milestones.

The project has used substantial resources and hired personnel with good qualifications for materials handling.

In consequence, the deck areas and surrounding areas are well-prepared for use of the pedestal cranes, with direct vision from the crane cabins to all relevant deck areas planned for regular loading operations.

The company confirmed that no regular lifting operations are planned in blind zones. Also, all loading decks, storage decks and transport routes are on the same level, and prepared for use of forklifts or trolleys.

This is also the case for deck areas below the main deck, and an elevator is planned for installation between the two decks. The project has conducted a complete review and mapping of all areas where transportation and moving of cargo, materials and components is required.

A proposal is in place for solutions and improvements which the project is currently implementing to achieve an efficient and safe materials handling.

COSL has carried out a systematic, thorough and well-documented verification activity to obtain an updated working environment status for the project.

Based on the findings identified from COSL's verification work, and provided the project corrects the critical issues identified, no special working environment-related conditions have been discovered which would prevent the facility from being used on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

There is, however, still some uncertainty relating to what the noise level on the facility will be. The project should reduce this uncertainty.
 
During the audit, we identified some nonconformities and items with a potential for improvement which the company had not identified themselves, cf. Chapter 5 of the audit report.

Journal 2009/348 (documents in Norwegian)

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