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Report following audit of Esso Norge AS' bio-ethanol project

On 14 September, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of Esso Norge AS as the operator of the refinery at Slagentangen. The audit was aimed at the execution of the bio-ethanol project and the operator's supervisory duty and quality in all supplier segments.

The bio-ethanol project has finished the engineering phase. The ground work for the ethanol tank has just started, while contracts have not yet been awarded. The audit activity is therefore directed towards the design and engineering phase and the system for follow-up during the next phases.

Read more: Consent to carry out the bio-ethanol project at Slagentangen

The PSA is to set standards and follow up to ensure that the players in the petroleum activities maintain high standards as regards health, safety and the environment, and thereby also contribute towards creating the greatest possible values for the Norwegian society.

The audit is pursuant to Section 4, second subsection of the temporary regulations: ”Parties who own or operate petroleum facilities or pipeline systems as mentioned in the first subsection, shall ensure that everyone contracted to perform work, either personally, through employees or through contractors or subcontractors, complies with requirements stipulated by the safety and working environment legislation”.

Quality deviations in deliveries of pipe fittings in the industry in general, large valves and leaks as a result of deficient tightening of flange connections show that the operators' and the industry's follow-up of quality has been deficient.

The purpose of the audit activity is to ensure that the project is managed and implemented in accordance with the regulations. Furthermore, the objective is to verify the operator's system for follow-up of contractors and subcontractors.

The project was reviewed with descriptions of solutions, use of governing documents and specifications and involvement of ExxonMobil expertise. Further descriptions of own and engineering contractor's follow-up and use of governing documents, inspections and test plans.

The system for approving suppliers, follow-up and receiving inspections, fabrication, installation, welding, quality control and preparing for operations were described. The project is carried out using permanent employees from technical departments and operations at Slagentangen. Jacobs Engineering is carrying out the engineering as well as some purchasing under supervision by permanent Esso employees.

Interviews were carried out with personnel from the project, basic, inspection and receiving inspection and operations. There is a high focus on supplier follow-up and the system for approval of suppliers to ensure quality in all segments.

No nonconformities were identified in relation to the regulations

Improvement items
No improvement items were identified.

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