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Audit of maintenance management in Deep Well AS

Audit: During the period 17 - 18 March 2010, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of the maintenance management in Deep Well AS (Deep Well). Deep Well does not comply with all the regulatory requirements for maintenance management, but we noted that processes were implemented to improve the company's maintenance management.

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 contributing towards creating the greatest possible values for the Norwegian society.

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

Chapter 4.12.2 of the Storting White Paper No. 7 (2001-2002) relating to health, safety and environment in the petroleum activities, states, inter alia, the following regarding maintenance management:

"The authorities are of the opinion that it is necessary to further develop management models for operations and maintenance in cooperation with the industry in order to ensure a joint effort to strengthen the quality of maintenance in the petroleum activities through, inter alia, development of methods and technologies, competence enhancement and research."

Storting White Paper No. 12 (2005-2006) relating to health, safety and the environment in the petroleum activities, indicates in Chapter 5.4 that deficient maintenance may increase the risk of major accidents, injuries and incidents, and the White Paper refers to a rather comprehensive review of audit reports which show a relatively large share of nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements. These include deficiencies in the prioritising of maintenance, evaluation of critical conditions, follow-up of temporary equipment, unsatisfactory documentation and outstanding maintenance of safety-critical  equipment. Moreover, in some cases the competence relating to maintenance management was inadequate.

Current requirements related to maintenance management are stipulated specifically in the Activities Regulations and the Management Regulations.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to

  •  investigate whether Deep Well performs classification of equipment in accordance with current regulatory requirements and accepted standards, cf. Chapter IX of the Activities Regulations relating to maintenance
  • assess Deep Well's use of this classification in its maintenance management
  • investigate the basis for analyses relating to maintenance decisions

Result of the audit

The results are based on the presentation of elements in Deep Well's management systems and interviews with selected personnel, primarily the owners of the maintenance process, with subsequent verification of governing documents and systems for carrying out maintenance on the company's facilities in Norway.

Deep Well does not comply with all the regulatory requirements for maintenance management.

Some of our observations are characterised as nonconformities, cf. the classification in Chapter 5 of the audit report, and are grouped in the following main categories:

  • Governing documents
  • Marking and classification of systems equipment
  • Documentation of the classification carried out
  • Use of classification as a basis for selecting and prioritising maintenance
  • Maintenance programme
  • Maintenance status
  • Maintenance efficiency

Journal 2010/118 (documents in Norwegian)

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