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Audit of electrical installations and instrumented safety systems - Ekofisk complex and 2/4 A

During the period 8-11 March 2010, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) performed an audit of electrical installations and instrumented safety systems on the Ekofisk complex and 2/4 A. The audit indentified five regulatory non-conformities.

This audit activity is related to the PSA’s main priority, “Technical and operational barriers”, and is part of the PSA’s audit plan for 2010.

The audit is based on guidelines given in the PSA’s main priorities for 2010 relating to follow-up of technical and operational barriers. The audit also addresses experiences from previous audits, both of COPSAS and the industry at large.

The goal of the audit was to survey COPSAS’ systems and work processes for managing technical and operational barriers relating to electrical installations and instrumented safety systems on Ekofisk, and to evaluate them in relation to applicable requirements.

The audit focused on the following topics:

The audit identified five regulatory non-conformities. These are related to safety during work in and operation of electrical installations, marking of evacuation routes and the emergency shutdown system. 

The report also contains observations where there is potential for improvement. 


Distribution of responsibility in relation to safety during work in and operation of electrical installations:The distribution of responsibility in relation to safety during work in and management of electrical installations is unclear.
During interviews, it has emerged that there is no consensus on the distribution of responsibility. For example, there were different conceptions of who was selected to handle the daily operation of high voltage installations.

Through our conversations, we learned that there is work underway to clarify responsibilities.

Escape routes from high voltage installation rooms: Lack of apparatus (panic fitting) to open exit doors in rooms with high voltage installations.
The exit doors in high voltage installation rooms where personnel could be present, are not equipped with a device for opening from the inside, using the knee, elbow or other body part, and also by a crawling person.

For example, we observed exit doors from high voltage rooms on 2/4 J which were equipped with panic fittings, but these could not be operated from the floor level. The high voltage room on 2/4 C lacked a panic fitting on the exit door.

Marking of evacuation routes: Evacuation routes on Ekofisk 2/4 A are not adequately marked.
Paint to signify evacuation routes was hardly visible in several places due to wear and tear. Conditions relating to the marking of evacuation routes on facilities operated by COPSAS have been pointed out in audits in 2004, 2006 and 2009.

Lack of fire protection on hydraulics for activating emergency shutdown valves: Hydraulic lines for controlling emergency shutdown valves in the riser area on 2/4 J lack fire protection.
According to COPSAS, hydraulic lines connecting accumulators to emergency shutdown valves shall be protected to the same degree as the individual valve. The valves in the riser area on 2/4 J are fire-protected, while the hydraulic lines between the accumulators and the emergency shutdown valves are not fire-protected. The emergency shutdown valves are not “fail safe”, and it must therefore be documented that the hydraulic system is functional until the valves are run to the closed position.

Contact danger: Deficient shielding of live components in the switchboard room.
Examples of deficient shielding of live components were proven. Non-insulated live components shall be protected against accidental contact with rigid covers of a self-extinguishing material that meets the requirements for enclosure rating IP 20.

For example:

Improvement items

Equipment labelling:Deficient equipment labelling.
During a random check of PSVs and ESD valves in the process facility on 2/4 J, several tag labels were missing. This was found on PSVs in the C-tour facility on the top deck, PSVs installed on the LP separator and ESD valves in the riser/pig chamber area. It was also not possible to find serial numbers on the PSVs installed on the LP separator.

Documentation of emergency shutdown valve fire protection: The documentation of necessary fire protection of 2/4 J’s safety-critical emergency shutdown valves to safeguard functionality in the case of fire, is deficient.
In connection with the audit, we have not received documentation establishing that emergency shutdown valve ESDV-00426 on 2/4 J has the necessary fire protection to safeguard its function in case of fire. Failure of this valve would change the design fire load in the area.

Labelling doors to rooms with pressure monitoring:Deficient labelling of doors to rooms with pressure monitoring.
All doors from rooms with pressure monitoring shall have a conspicuous sign on the outside of the door reading: “Warning – Pressure monitored room – Keep door closed”. We observed the lack of door signage on P60 VSD Transformer room and S60 Low voltage switchboard room on 2/4J.

Maintenance:Deficient maintenance
We observed several examples of deficient maintenance.

- 2/4C
Several power cables were disconnected, but not removed.
Five expired batteries were not removed in the battery room next to the emergency generator room.

- 2/4 A 
Biocide injection pump control panel: deficient Ex maintenance
The “wind screen” facing the control room on the same level as the generator room is heavily corroded and in danger of falling down.
Navigation aid panel: deficient Ex maintenance
Pwer cables’ outer sheathing is cracked