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Audit of simultaneous operation and modification on Statfjord B

Audit: During the period 28 September 2009 - 28 January 2010, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Statoil Petroleum AS. The audit comprised management and organisation of simultaneous operation and modification on Statfjord B, emphasizing the understanding of risk and competence. We identified no nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements.


Prior to the activity on Statfjord B (photo), two all-day meetings were organised with Statoil's landbased organisation, on 28 September 2009 and 19 January 2010.

In these meetings, we focused on the following areas:

  • Understanding of risk and competence
  • Working environment conditions
  • Construction and material selection
  • Preparedness
  • Safety system
  • Operation of process and auxiliary facilities
  • Operation of the subsea facilities and field pipelines

The verification offshore on Statfjord B was limited to competence management and understanding of risk.

Background for the audit
In their investigations, the PSA and Statoil have established that insufficient understanding of risk and barriers are among the most frequent underlying causes of serious incidents.

Professional expertise and good knowledge of systems and equipment is a prerequisite for managing and implementing operational, maintenance and modification activities in a safe manner.

The audit will also be used for assessing the application for consent for lifetime extension of Statfjord B in 2010.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to assess the compliance with and understanding of Statoil's systems to ensure competence and understanding of risk in the management and operative personnel. The task included Statoil's mapping of the competence requirements and communication of risks to relevant personnel on board.

The following issues were considered:

  • How are risk analyses/risk assessments used to identify and reduce risks?
  • How are results/assumptions/limitations communicated in the organisation?
  • How does Statoil map the conditions that are essential to ensure a good understanding of risk in own employees and contractors?
  • How will this be continued in relation to the competence requirements for roles/functions?
  • How is existing and insufficient competence mapped?
  • How are lessons learned and understanding of risk safeguarded and verified throughout the organisation?
  • How does Statoil ensure a common understanding of risk and  lessons learned across the organisation and in relation to the contractors?
  • How are positive and negative experiences in relation to learning and improvement used?

Result of the audit
The audit was carried out as planned, with interviews and verifications on board.

The activity indicated that Statoil emphasises risk management in their risk management system.

Requirements on an overall level are to be found in the Statoil Book, where one of the group policies relates to risk management. Statoil commits to: "Communicate and quantify the overall risk profile, including both upside and downside potential for our decision makers", and to "understand our overall risk profile and implement suitable measures".

Pims Web, which is a tool for identifying risk (the risk profile), was used in connection with the onshore planning, but we had the impression that the tool was only used to a limited degree offshore and was little known on Statfjord B.

The Overall Risk Analysis (TRA) for Statfjord B was also fairly unknown, and was not used to identify risk.

No nonconformity was identified during the audit, but we identified several conditions with a potential for improvement.

Journal 2009/759 (document in Norwegian)

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