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Audit of Statoil’s logistics planning and execution in supply chain - Oseberg Øst

During the period 8-12 March 2010, the PSA conducted an audit of Statoil Petroleum AS’ (Statoil's) logistics planning and execution in the supply chain to/from and on Oseberg Øst (OSØ). The audit identified several regulatory non-conformities.


The audit was conducted through meetings with relevant operational management and meetings and interviews with technical management at Statoil’s offices at Sandsli, in addition to meetings, interviews and verifications on board OSØ.

The audit consisted of two parts.was bifurcated. The audit’s main focus was on Statoil’s systems for control and management of materials handling, technical condition of lifting equipment and lifting operations on a company level.

The audit also focused on how these systems function on a facility level, with OSØ as an example.

Background
The audit was a verification activity in accordance with the PSA’s general project assignment for logistics and follow-up of lifting operations. The audit focused on risks connected to logistics and materials handling, including lifting operations; and the problem areas identified in the PSA’s report “Causal links of incidents involving offshore cranes”.

Goal
The goal of the activity was to verify that Statoil utilises competence and possesses the necessary resources to ensure that crane and lifting operations are executed responsibly. Furthermore, the goal of the activity was to verify regulatory compliance as regards governing documentation and compliance within logistics, materials handling, crane and lifting operations.

Result
The PSA made observations of a technical, operational and organisational nature.

The following conditions merit special attention:

  • The management system does not adequately ensure overarching operational management of lifting operations. (Role and responsibility as operationally responsible for lifting operations.)\
  • Statoil’s technical competence within crane and lifting operations is only occasionally and to a very limited degree involved early in important work processes.
  • Not all of the equipment the company owns, leases or is otherwise responsible for using is identified and classified as lifting equipment.
  • Deficient performance of offshore crane operations.

Observations
The PSA’s observations generally fall into one of two categories:
• Non-conformity: Related to those observations where we believe we can prove a breach of regulations.
• Improvement item: Related to observations where we see deficiencies, but do not have enough information to prove a breach of regulations.

Non-conformities – Company

Deficiencies in management system for managing offshore logistics
The management system does not adequately cover operational management of lifting operations.

Basis:
In the PSA's opinion, this element is crucial in this area to achieve the level required in the relevant regulatory requirements, including Section 83 of the Activities Regulations.

In 2000 and 2004, the PSA performed studies together with the players to understand the causal links and identify the underlying causes of lifting incidents. One important underlying cause was identified as deficient management, which, in turn, is caused by deficient competence. During revision of NORSOK R-003N in 2004, it was therefore a clear intention that the role as operationally responsible for lifting operations should lead to increased management involvement and competence within lifting operations. The description in NORSOK R-003N Annex A also presupposes that whoever is filling this role is also physically present on the facility.

Statoil’s presentation under the title “Regulatory non-conformities K&L” states:

“In principle, the complete NORSOK R-003, NWEA and OLF guidelines shall prevail for Materials handling in Statoil”

In the governing document OMC01 final version dated 13 January 2010 items 2.11.16.1 and 2.11.16.2, requirements are set for the “offshore logistics manager” and “offshore logistics/maritime manager” to fill the role of operationally responsible for lifting operations as described in NORSOK R-003N Annex A. The distribution of roles and work tasks described in NORSOK R-003N Annex A also corresponds to the PSA’s understanding of this role, in consideration of the improvement work which has been ongoing in the last 20 years to ensure safer offshore lifting operations. In our assessment, the chosen solution provides a lower level of safety than what follows from the relevant regulatory requirements, including Section 83 of the Activities Regulations.

When this role is divided, as described in the above-mentioned governing document, OMC01, and parts of the role are e.g. assigned to a position at the Oseberg field centre for all the facilities in the Oseberg area, the possibility for executing superior operational management of lifting operations on board e.g. OSØ is impaired. It also leads to a deterioration in the onboard management’s competence on OSØ as to how to ensure secure lifting operations.

Deficient execution of the supervisory duty
During the audit, it was discovered that Statoil’s technical competence within crane and lifting operations is only occasionally, and to a very limited degree, involved early on in important work processes where others are to perform work for Statoil.

Basis:
It became evident during the audit that technical competence within crane and lifting operations/materials handling is only occasionally involved during a number of major activities/work processes where others are performing work for Statoil, and that it is up to the responsible individual during such activities to take the initiative to involve such competence. Examples of such activities are:

  • Rig acceptance
  • Planning and execution of heavy lifting operations and marine lifting operations.
  • Development projects and major modification projects.
  • Drilling & well – early phase.
  • Mobilisation of third-party equipment – especially rented through contractor.

Deficiencies in identification of lifting gear
Not all of the equipment the company owns, leases or is otherwise responsible for using is identified and classified as lifting equipment.

Basis:
Statoil’s presentation titled “Regulatory non-conformities K&L” states:
Special lifting gear within drilling (Nipples, caps, “lifting tools”) are not certified, and are not inspected as lifting gear.”

Non-conformities - Oseberg Øst

Deficient implementation of management system for crane and lifting operations
It became evident during interviews that there were deficiencies during implementation of APOS as the management system for crane and lifting operations.

Basis:
During meetings and conversations with technical management at Sandsli, we were informed that APOS was “rolled out” as the prevailing management system for crane and lifting operations in January 2010. It became evident from the conversations that training in APOS was given in the form of an e-learning course and that APOS was only utilised to a limited degree on OSØ. Several other systems were in use and access to the different systems was limited. Examples of such systems in addition to APOS were:

  • Wellmann (used by the drilling contractor)
  • Team site (access via Statoil’s intranet for Statoil employees where e.g. “Oseberg East Logistics-Local addendum to Apos K-21450 local addendum” was located).
  • Checklists in pocket format

The PSA therefore finds that it is not documented that APOS is the prevailing management system for crane and lifting operations.

Confusion regarding the role as operationally responsible
During conversations and review of documentation we uncovered considerable uncertainty surrounding the role as operationally responsible for lifting operations.

Basis:
On the organisation chart for OSØ which was presented to the PSA, a position is defined as Crane driver/Deck/Storage, reporting to the D&V manager. This position is not mentioned in the local procedure “Oseberg East Logistics-Local addendum to Apos K-21450”, which uses the role description FA Logistics.

Based on what was explained to the PSA, this would be the same person/role. FA Logistics is given the role as Operationally responsible lifting operations. When the Operationally responsible lifting operations was mentioned, reference was made to Annex A in NORSOK R-003 N. Neither made a connection with these role descriptions to OMC01 item 2.11.16 and OMC01 Appendix C. There was also uncertainty surrounding which lifting operations this role was operationally responsible for. Some explained this to be a three-fold responsibility (drilling, deck and operations).

At the time of the audit, maintenance work was being performed, both in the drilling area and the process area. During conversations, we identified considerable uncertainty surrounding who was given the role of operationally responsible for the lifting operations in connection with this work. An offshore lifting operation was also performed where drilling contractor personnel performed work on deck as slinger and signaller while Statoil’s regular crane driver on board operated the offshore crane.

No one could clearly explain who was operationally responsible for this lifting operation. Example of statement: “Since it is drilling’s equipment being loaded on board, it must be the drilling contractor’s maintenance manager who has this role”.

Deficient execution of offshore crane operation
During execution of an offshore lifting operation, several non-conforming actions were observed in relation to the standard Statoil uses as a basis for their lifting operations.

Basis:

  • The planning of the lifting operation was deficient, as a toolbox meeting where everyone involved was gathered, was not performed. The detailed planning was ongoing and over the radio, and roles and responsibilities were not clarified before starting the lifting operation. An empty container was to be moved from the upper to the lower deck in addition to the two original containers agreed upon, resulting in the container’s landing area not being cleared and prepared. The container to be moved was left hanging unnecessarily from the offshore crane while the landing area was cleared.
  • During the lifting operation itself, the roles of slinger and signaller were exchanged.
  • On one occasion, we observed them both physically guiding the load.
  • On certain occasions, the signaller unnecessarily placed himself in such a position as to be invisible to the crane driver.
  • The PSA could not observe if a “toolbox meeting” was held between the crane driver and the vessel’s on-duty navigator.

The items above describe a work execution which deviates from the work methodology described in NORSOK R-003 N for safe work execution during the performance of offshore crane operations.

Improvement items

Somewhat deficient system for ensuring competence
During the audit, it became evident that the systems for ensuring equipment-specific competence were somewhat deficient.

Basis:
Statoil’s presentation titled “Regulatory non-conformities K&L” states:
In principle, the complete NORSOK R-003, NWEA and OLF guidelines shall prevail for Materials handling in Statoil

Neither Statoil nor the industry have developed criteria for maintenance and verification of competence for the operator of smaller lifting appliances. This is not true for Statoil’s offshore cranes, riggers, signallers and slingers.

In connection with the integration process, many people have moved to another facility and therefore have different equipment to operate. Based on the interviews, the need for equipment-specific training was mostly identified and carried out on the initiative of the operator. Our impression was that much of this training was performed through mentor programs without the ability to document that the content of this training covered all the important conditions described by NORSOK R-003 N Annex B.6.

The content and scope of refresher courses appeared somewhat unclear during the audit.

The testing of the lifting appliance’s emergency functions was performed based on work orders from the maintenance system and connected to the lifting appliance’s Tag no. It could also not be documented that the individual operator regularly received opportunity to train in using all these functions.

Other comments

Loose equipment used for drilling has to a large degree been stored wherever there has been room as the equipment has come on board. There is not necessarily a connection between the frequency of use and the storage location, which would entail that equipment used frequently is stored as close as possible to where it is used. This leads to a large amount of unnecessary moving of equipment between storage location and use location.

In connection with re-rigging the offshore crane, a cradle is placed on the helicopter deck to support the crane boom. The personnel performing this work find this solution to yield cramped working conditions and would like a better facilitated arrangement for this work.

Several containers are placed around the deck areas used for long-term equipment storage. Lifting appliances are mounted to these containers and are not inspected. It is normal to disconnect such lifting equipment to prevent damage to the lifting appliance and to prevent improper use.

The spooling of winch wire on the Helia telescope crane installed on the drilling deck is faulty. The wire was on the wrong spool, leading to a risk of the wire being fed unevenly, which can cause a jerky lowering of the load and can also cause excess wear or even destruction of the wire.

Messengers were stored on and near the walkway between the pipe deck and a storage area for other materials, where they are exposed to wind and weather, in addition to damage resulting from activity in the area. It is customary for loose lifting equipment not currently in use, e.g. messengers, to be protected from the weather and other damaging influences during storage.

Inger Anda, Director for communication and public affairs
Email: inger.anda@ptil.no | +47 970 54 064