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Audit of electrical installations and fire protection on Gullfaks A

Audit: During the period 1 - 3 December 2009, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Statoil's management of technical and operational barriers on Gullfaks A. The audit was limited to the technical disciplines electrical installations and fire and explosion protection. We identified two nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements.

The audit was conducted as a start-up meeting at Sandsli, interviews with personnel in the onshore organisation and subsequent verifications, function testing and interviews with personnel on Gullfaks A (photo).

Gullfaks A (source: Statoil)

Background for the audit
The PSA is to set standards for and follow up to ensure that the players in the petroleum activities maintain high standards as regards health, safety and the environment, thereby also contributing towards creating the greatest possible values for the Norwegian society.

Safety-critical barriers must be safeguarded in a unified and  consistent manner, so that the risk of major accidents is reduced as far as possible.

The follow-up shall be system-oriented and risk-based, and shall be supplementary to the industry's own follow-up.

The audit is based on guidelines provided in the PSA's main priorities for 2009 relating to follow-up of technical and operational safety.

The audit also looked at experience from previous audit activities, both with Statoil and the industry in general.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was  to confirm that Statoil's systems and work processes for managing technical and operational safety is in accordance with applicable regulations and recognized standards.

The audit emphasised the following topics:

  • Organisation and follow-up of operations and maintenance
  • Results from completed barrier mappings
  • Ignition source control
  • Expertise and training
  • Identified findings and challenges from internal audits of electrical installations
  • Function testing of selected safety systems

Result of the audit
We identified two nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements. These are related to insufficient passive fire protection and deficient follow-up of the competence for electrical personnel.

The report also contains observations of items with a potential for improvement.

Journal 2009/1399 (documents in Norwegian)

Mike Theiss, Principal engineer
Email: michael.theiss@ptil.no |