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Total given notice of order

The PSA has given notice of an order to Total E&P Norge AS (Total) after an audit of the Martin Linge project.

Martin Linge is an oil and gas field in the northern part of Norway’s North Sea sector, 42 kilometres west of Oseberg. Currently under development, the field is due to come on stream in 2018.

Operator for the field is Total. The other licensees are Petoro and Statoil.

Martin Linge is being developed with a fully integrated fixed production facility supported by a steel jacket, combined with a floating storage and offloading (FSO) unit for oil storage.

The production facility is under construction at the Samsung yard in South Korea.

An audit of the Martin Linge project was conducted by the PSA on 28-30 March 2017. This was directed at technical safety, electrical equipment, maintenance management and Total’s own follow-up of technical barriers during the commissioning phase at the Samsung yard.

During the audit, serious deficiencies emerged through presentations, conversations, interviews and verifications relating to such areas as preservation, electrical facilities and barrier management. These were a result of inadequate compliance with requirements in the regulations as well as with the project’s own requirements and procedures. The PSA’s observations show inadequate follow-up in the project.

The PSA’s observations identify nonconformities from sections 6 and 21 of the management regulations on management of health, safety and the environment, and follow-up respectively, section 47 of the facilities regulations on electrical installations,  and sections 16, 24 and 47 of the activities regulations on installation and commissioning, procedures, and maintenance programme respectively. The audit report will be available in the near future.

Preservation of equipment and systems, both indoors and outdoors, was inadequate. This meant that equipment and systems were exposed to large quantities of dust, water, particles, impurities and so forth from ongoing construction and commissioning activities.

The consequences of inadequate preservation during the completion phase will be resource-intensive and time-consuming cleaning and, in the worst case, the need to replace weakened or damaged equipment and components. Furthermore, it could mean big challenges in planning and implementing commissioning and start-up work offshore.

Faults and deficiencies were also identified in the professional execution of electrical installations.

The audit report is being completed.

Only a little time is available before the licensees are to take a decision on departure from the South Korean yard. The notice has accordingly been issued before the audit report is finalised.

On the basis of the findings made during the audit, the PSA has given notice of the following order:

Pursuant to section 69 of the framework regulations on administrative decisions, see sections 6, 11 and 21 of the management regulations on management of health, safety and the environment, basis for making decisions and decision criteria, and follow-up respectively, we order Total E&P Norge AS to identify and correct as far as possible faults and deficiencies, and to assess applicable plans, prioritisation and use of resources to ensure acceptable commissioning before installation on the field

The order also requires the company to initiate measures which can ensure compliance with its procedures for preservation of systems and equipment which take account of the site-specific conditions, see sections 24 and 47 of the activities regulations on procedures and maintenance programme respectively.

The deadline for complying with this order is 29 May 2017.

We must be notified when the order has been complied with.


Explanation of the terms “order” and “notice of order”

An order is an administrative decision made pursuant to the regulations. Before the PSA issues an order, it generally sends a "notice of order" to the affected companies.

A notice of order is neither an instrument nor a notice of sanctions, but a step in the PSA’s administrative process in which it requests the party to assess the factual basis. The notice is only a first step before an administrative decision is made.

An order is a strongly preventive instrument which is legally binding on the recipient.

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