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Notification of order following audit on Mærsk Giant related to acute discharge prevention

During the period 8 – 10 March 2010, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit on Mærsk Giant. The activity was directed toward Maersk Drilling Norge AS’ (Maersk's) system for preventing acute discharges. On the basis of our findings during the audit, we have issued a notification of order to Maersk.

The audit was carried out in the form of document reviews, conversations and verifications on board the facility.

The Mærsk Giant is a jack-up drilling facility built in 1986. The installation was awarded an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) on 15 February 2002 (link) and is currently active in drilling operations for Talisman on the Yme field.

Background for the audit
The audit was carried out pursuant to the Management Regulations, Section 1 relating to risk reduction and Section 2 relating to barriers; and included Maersk’s system for follow-up of equipment which could cause acute discharges, including

• hose stations
• hydraulic fluid systems
• drainage system
• mud pits
• chemical storage
• drilling equipment

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify circumstances related to acute discharge prevention on Mærsk Giant.

Result of the audit
We have identified non-conformities in relation to the regulatory requirements concerning Maersk’s maintenance management on Maersk Giant and the company’s follow-up and handling of non-conformities.

Several of the circumstances that make up the basis for the non-conformities have previously been identified on other Maersk facilities. These experiences seem not to have been utilised in the follow-up on Maersk Giant.

Inadequate maintenance management on Maersk Giant (non-conformity).
Safety-critical equipment was not identified in the maintenance program:
During the inspection, it was observed that the hoses connected to the blowout preventer (BOP) are not included in the maintenance system. The integrity of this equipment is important, both concerning its BOP function and discharges to the sea.

Inadequate maintenance of equipment which can lead to discharges to the sea or create a potential for personal injury:
Seriously corroded piping was observed in the hydraulics for the skid cylinder in the aft part of the moonpool area. The transition to the flexible hose and the hose itself also appeared to be in bad shape. We were informed that this equipment operates at pressures up towards 160 bar. According to information in SAP, this condition was observed for the first time on 1 December 2007. Furthermore, it was documented in SAP that the replacement had been postponed, but planned for 15 March 2010.

Deficient labelling of equipment critical to safety and the environment: Among other things, equipment in the moonpool area which could lead to discharges to the sea was not labelled (flexible piping).

Deficiencies in Maersk’s system for follow-up and handling of non-conformities (non-conformity).
Maersk’s system for follow-up and handling of non-conformities on Mærsk Giant is deficient

We have issued Maersk the following notification of order:

Pursuant to Section 20 of the Management Regulations regarding the handlingof non-conformities and Section 21 regarding follow-up, cf. Section 58 of the Framework Regulations regarding individual decisions, Maersk Drilling Norge AS is ordered to implement measures to ensure that technical, operational or organisational weaknesses, faults and deficiencies on the company’s facilities are registered and followed up.

The deadline for compliance is set at 1 June 2010.

The PSA must be notified when the order has been carried out.

We have asked Maersk to submit any comments regarding the notification by 14 April 2010.

We have furthermore requested an account of how the non-conformity not covered by the audit will be handled by 25 April 2010.

About “orders” vs. “notification of order":
An order is a administrative decision made pursuant to the regulations. Before we issue an order, we usually submit a "notification of order" to the companies involved.

A notification of order is neither a measure nor a warning of sanctions, but part of our administrative process in accordance with the established rules of procedure. The notification is just a first step before an administrative decision is made.

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