Gå til hovedinnhold

Investigation report with notification of order following incident on Deepsea Atlantic

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has issued a notification of order to Statoil Petroleum AS, Odfjell Drilling AS and Odfjell Well Services AS following an investigation of the incident on Deepsea Atlantic (DSA) on 10 August 2009, in which a piece of 30" casing fell on the catwalk.


The incident occurred on the Deepsea Atlantic (DSA) in connection with the drilling of well 34/10-52 on Gullfaks Sør. The crew had completed the drilling of the 36” hole and were about to commence running the 30” casing when the elevator opened while the casing was being lifted onto the drill floor.

The casing fell out of the elevator and down onto the catwalk after first striking the ”gorilla arm” on its way down. One person, who was remote-controlling the catwalk and the gorilla arm, was standing within the restricted area. He was about 6 m from the pipe that fell; a piece of casing measuring about 12.8 m in length and weighing approximately seven tonnes.

The incident did not cause personal injury, and only minor material damage. However, under slightly altered circumstances, the outcome could have been fatal, with significant material damage.

The direct cause of the accident was that the elevator was not properly closed and locked when the casing was lifted.

Underlying causes were:

  • deficient control and maintenance of the elevator
  • no operating instructions available
  • failure of management systems
  • inadequate initial inspection
  • deficiencies in the information system, as well as in the systems designed to ensure transfer of experience and improvement
  • inadequate competence
  • deficient planning, execution and risk assessments
  • inadequate management
  • deficient procedures
  • breach of procedures
  • deficiencies in the procurement, inspection and use of temporary equipment
  • deficient follow-up of the incident
  • deficiencies in Statoil's follow-up (supervisory duty)

Several of the causes are the same as for the lifting incident that occurred on the West Epsilon in 2007. StatoilHydro was also the operator in the 2007 incident.

Furthermore, several of the underlying causes are the same as those identified in connection withthe incident on the Deepsea Bergen on 28 February 2009. That incident led to serious personal injury, and the outcome would have been fatal if circumstances had been only marginally altered.

Based on breaches of the regulations (see Chapter 5.1 of the investigation report), we have issued Statoil the following notification of order:

Pursuant to the Management Regulations, Section 3 relating to management of health, safety and environment and Section 20 relating to handling of non-conformities, cf. 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 that are relevant for Statoil
  • implement measures to avoid repetition

2. Carry out measures as identified in the plan.

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

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

Odfjell Drilling AS has received the following notification of order:

Pursuant to the Management Regulations, Section 3 relating to management of health, safety and environment and Section 20 relating to handling of non-conformities, cf. 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 that are relevant for Odfjell Drilling,
  • implement measures to avoid repetition.

2. Carry out measures as identified in the plan.

The measures shall include all of Odfjell's facilities, as well as the operations organisation on land, where relevant.

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

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

Odfjell Well Services AS has received the following notification of order:

Pursuant to the Management Regulations, Section 3 relating to management of health, safety and environment and Section 20 relating to handling of non-conformities, cf. 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 that are relevant for Odfjell Well Services,
  • implement measures to avoid repetition.

2. Carry out measures as identified in the plan.

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

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

We have requested that the companies provide any comments they might have concerning the notification or the investigation report by 23 April 2010.

Furthermore, we have asked that the companies inform the employees' representatives, including the safety delegates, regarding the letters and the report.

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