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Orders to Statoil, Odfjell Drilling and Odfjell Well Services after lifting incident on Deepsea Atlantic

The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has issued orders to Statoil Petroleum AS (Statoil), Odfjell Drilling AS (Odfjell) and Odfjell Well Services AS (OWS) after an incident on Deepsea Atlantic (DSA). This occurred on 10 August 2009, when a 30-inch casing fell onto the catwalk. The orders to Statoil and OWS accord with the earlier notifications, while the Odfjell order has been amended somewhat.


DSA was drilling well 34/10-52 on Gullfaks South in the North Sea when the incident happened, and the crew had completed the 36-inch hole. They were about to start running 30-inch casing when the elevator opened as a pipe was being lifted onto the drill floor.

Measuring about 12.8 metres in length and weighing some seven tonnes, the pipe fell from the elevator and struck the gorilla arm before hitting the catwalk.

A person remotely controlling the catwalk and the gorilla arm was standing within the restricted area, about six metres from the pipe which fell.

While the incident caused no personal injury and only minor material damage, it could under slightly different circumstances have had a fatal outcome and caused significant material damage.

The PSA investigated the incident and, on the basis of regulatory breaches, issued notifications of orders to Statoil as operator, Odfjell as drilling contractor and OWS as lessor of the elevator. The latter unit was leased by Statoil and operated by Odfjell.

Order to Statoil
In accordance with the notification, the PSA has issued the following order to Statoil.

Pursuant to the section 3 of the management regulations relating to the management of health, safety and environment and section 20 relating to handling of non-conformities, confer section 58 of the framework regulations relating to individual decisions, Statoil Petroleum AS (Statoil) is ordered to:

1. Establish a binding plan designed to

  • identify the underlying causes of the non-conformities listed in chapter 5.1 of the report which are relevant for Statoil
  • implement measures to avoid repetition.

2. Carry out measures as identified in the plan.

The deadline for compliance with part 1 of the order is set at 1 June 2010. The deadline for compliance with part 2 of the order is set at 1 November 2010.

The PSA must be notified when the order has been complied with.

Order to Odfjell Drilling
In its response to the PSA’s notification, Odfjell Drilling has outlined action taken after the incident which goes a long way in responding to the notification.

These measures will unquestionably make a positive contribution to improving many of the conditions identified in the PSA’s report, particularly at an overall level as well as factors related to the relevant incident.

However, the PSA takes the view that these measures are not sufficient to eliminate the basis for the order.

In particular, general steps related to lifting operations and lifting equipment on the drill floor are still required. The order has been somewhat amended in relation to the notification in order to reflect these assessments.

In accordance with the notification, the following order is issued.

Pursuant to the section 3 of the management regulations relating to the management of health, safety and environment and section 20 relating to handling of non-conformities, confer section 58 of the framework regulations relating to individual decisions, Odfjell Drilling AS is ordered to:

1. Establish a binding plan designed to

  • identify the underlying causes of the non-conformities listed in chapter 5.1 of the report which are relevant for Odfjell Drilling, particularly in relation to lifting operations and lifting equipment on the drill floor
  • implement measures to avoid repetition.

2. Carry out measures as identified in the plan. These measures will cover all Odfjell’s units, as well as its operations organisation on land, where relevant.

The deadline for compliance with part 1 of the order is set at 1 June 2010. The deadline for compliance with part 2 of the order is set at 1 November 2010.

The PSA must be notified when the order has been complied with.

Order to Odfjell Well Services
In accordance with the notification issued to Odfjell Well Services, the following order has been made.

Pursuant to the section 3 of the management regulations relating to the management of health, safety and environment and section 20 relating to handling of non-conformities, confer section 58 of the framework regulations relating to individual decisions, Odfjell Well Services is ordered to:

1. Establish a binding plan designed to

  • identify the underlying causes of the non-conformities listed in chapter 5.1 of the report which are relevant for Odfjell Well Services
  • implement measures to avoid repetition.

2. Carry out measures as identified in the plan.

The deadline for compliance with part 1 of the order is set at 1 June 2010. The deadline for compliance with part 2 of the order is set at 1 November 2010.

The PSA must be notified when the order has been complied

 

Order and notification of order
An order is a administrative decision made pursuant to the regulations.

Before the PSA makes an order, it usually issues a notification of order to the companies concerned.

A notification of order is neither a measure nor a warning of sanctions, but part of the PSA’s administrative process as specified in its established procedural rules.

The notification is merely a first step before an administrative decision is made.

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