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AoC verification audit on Rowan Gorilla VI – cranes, lifting equipment and drilling

The verification activity on board the Rowan Gorilla VI (RG6) was performed by the PSA during the period 11–13 Dec. 2007, while the facility was operating on the UK continental shelf (UKCS).


Background for the audit
RG6 is a jack-up drilling facility. An application for acknowledgement of compliance (AOC) was submitted to the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) for this facility prior to its intended work on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) in 2008.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify that relevant requirements in the regulations were complied with, and the implementation status for these requirements in the company management system and on board the RG6 prior to entering the NCS.

Result of the audit
During the verification on board the RG6, we identified a number of non-conformities with respect to the regulations and a number of areas requiring improvement.

The verification performed on board the facility was based on spot checks and meant to verify if the documented compliance with Norwegian regulations, as presented in the AOC application, represented the actual status of the facility.

A major concern with regard to the planned drilling activity on the NCS, is the number of pieces of equipment and systems that are scheduled for installation, modification and testing. In addition, the documentation of these undertakings must be included in the management systems, and the personnel on board must be trained accordingly, both for the individual positions and as a crew.

As regards the area of cranes and lifting equipment, the verification revealed that Rowan has not prepared sufficient documentation demonstrating compliance with Norwegian regulations. This is related to both the technical and operational aspects of cranes and lifting equipment. In addition, the spot checks revealed non-conformities in said cranes and lifting equipment area.

The fact that these findings were not identified by Rowan and included in the AOC application accordingly, combined with the total lack of documentation/GAP analysis demonstrating compliance with Norwegian regulations, mean that Rowan must perform a complete review of the facility with respect to drilling systems, cranes and organisation.