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Order to Rowan and BG Norge after crane audit on Rowan Gorilla VI

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has issued an order to Rowandrill Inc (Rowan) to document that the offshore cranes on the Rowan Gorilla VI mobile drilling rig comply with the regulations. To ensure good follow-up in the time to come, an order has also been issued to BG Norge as operator for the rig’s current drilling operation. The deadline for compliance is 30 April.


The PSA conducted an audit of Rowan and its use of offshore cranes on Rowan Gorilla VI on 9-10 February. This exposed a number of breaches of the regulations, which led to the notice of an order being issued by the PSA to Rowan on 24 March.

A notice was also given by the PSA to BG Norge as a consequence of the serious nature of this case and the operator responsibility borne by this company.

Both orders were issued on 26 March.

AoC
Rowan Gorilla VI received an acknowledgement of compliance (AoC) from the PSA on 17 November 2009. An AoC is required by mobile drilling units intending to work in the petroleum industry on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

The AoC was based on information submitted to the PSA by Rowan. This included material related to the offshore cranes, an area which received special attention throughout the AoC process.

Rowan’s documentation of compliance with the regulations was based on analyses and verifications carried out by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) as the subcontractor.

As the report from February’s audit shows (see link on the right), the PSA has established that the analyses and verifications performed by DNV in connection with this assignment are very deficient.

As a result, they cannot be used as documentation to establish that the offshore cranes on Rowan Gorilla VI comply with the regulations.

Rowan
On the basis of regulatory breaches identified in the report, Rowan has been ordered to produce documentation – including test results – which establishes compliance with the requirements for the design and use of offshore cranes on Rowan Gorilla VI.

That applies particularly to such safety critical areas as collapse sequence, automatic overload protection systems (Aops), lifting speeds and lifting of people as well as other important processes, systems and functions pointed out in the audit report.

Possible serious functional non-conformities (identified as red and yellow – see the explanation in the letter to Rowan concerning the order) must be assessed individually and collectively.

Measures must then be implemented to correct any non-conformances. The deadline for compliance with the order is 30 April.

The PSA has also issued Rowan with an order to review its systems for supervising sub-contractors and to implement measures to ensure that work conducted on its behalf complies with regulatory requirements. The deadline for compliance with this order is 1 June.

BG Norge
Operator BG Norge AS received consent in November 2009 to conduct exploration drilling in the southern part of Norway’s North Sea sector with Rowan Drilling VI. This work is still under way.

On the basis of the information obtained from the audit of Rowan, the serious nature of this case and BG Norge’s operator responsibility, BG Norge has been issued with an order.

This requires the company to ensure* that Rowan produces documentation, including test results, which establishes compliance with the requirements for design and use of offshore cranes on Rowan Gorilla VI.

The operator is also ordered to assess the consequences of the information obtained for the current drilling operation. The deadline for compliance with these orders is 30 April.

* On the operator’s compliance responsibility
The operator shall see to it that everyone carrying out work for him, either personally, by employees, contractors or sub-contractors, complies with requirements contained in the health, environment and safety legislation ... The employees have a duty to contribute according to the Working Environment Act Section 2-3.(See section 5 of the framework HSE regulations).

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