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Audit of maintenance management on Brage

From 14-17 June 2011, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of maintenance management on Brage.

During our audit in 2010, the status of maintenance management in Statoil EPN and associated challenges was presented to us in several meetings. It emerged that Statoil EPN has challenges with e.g. handling a large amount of outstanding maintenance, backlogs, capacity and expertise.

The ongoing and planned processes for improving the company’s maintenance management were also presented.

In 2011, the PSA has chosen to follow-up maintenance management in Statoil EPN through various maintenance activities. This audit activity is a part of the overall follow-up.

Brage was installed in 1993 with a 20-year planned lifetime. The facility carries out tail production, has significant drilling activity and is now undergoing a process to assess the possibility of an extended lifetime.

The objective of the activity was to assess aspects of the maintenance management on Brage in relation to Statoil’s own requirements and regulatory requirements. This included verifying that the framework which the organisation and operative personnel work under, is designed to allow personnel to safeguard these requirements, including:

  • Relationship between the scope of tasks and the organisation’s/personnel’s capacity and expertise.
  • The relationship between roles, responsibilities, requirements and available resources.
  • Cooperation between offshore and onshore units in managing and executing various types of maintenance.

The objective was to verify that an assessment has been made by the company ensuring that preconditions are in place for the maintenance that is managed and implemented.

The PSA was informed that Brage is in a period entailing a significant strategy shift. The facility was scheduled for shutdown in 2005, but Statoil has plans to extend the lifetime to at least 2025.

This change in strategy means that the organisation is experiencing challenges in connection with e.g. cost management, capacity, resources and maintenance, in order to maintain the consideration for safety and operating result in a satisfactory manner.

There has been positive involvement at all levels of Brage’s organisation during the audit activity as regards the fact that the situation with extended lifetime with associated challenges, must be addressed with necessary measures and programs.

We have also received the impression that Brage’s management and executing personnel have a unified picture of the risk factors that require the most attention in the future.

We have received the impression that Brage’s management is concerned with ensuring that efficiency and cost challenges do not impact safety; potential situations with experienced goal conflicts at an operative level must be prevented through facilitating processes that will ensure necessary time and involvement of resources during implementation of such tasks.

In this connection, we noted that the implementation of the A standard described in Statoil's steering documents, was considered positive, both among managers and in the operative environment on the facility, through contributing to more accurate planning, improved involvement and increased risk understanding.

The audit activity has proven two nonconformities connected with: 

  • Follow-up of faulty equipment
  • Assessment of overall risk 

Furthermore, four factors with potential for improvement were identified in connection with: 

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Work processes and management tools
  • Follow-up
  • Labelling safety-critical equipment