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Audit - follow-up of gas leaks on Snorre A

During the period 6 -16 October 2003, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) carried out the audit "Follow-up of gas leaks on Snorre A" in Statoil. The audit was conducted over two days on land and three days on the installation.

Snorre A

Snorre A. Photo fromStatoils homepage

Background for the audit

The audit was carried out because there has been a general increase in the number of reported gas leaks on the Norwegian Shelf over the years 1998-2002.

The number of gas leaks reported by Statoil has increased during the period 1997-2001. In 2003, the Snorre field is one of the Statoil-operated fields reporting the highest number of gas leaks.

On the basis of trends in reported incidents and the report "Utvikling i risikonivå - norsk sokkel Fase 3 2002" (">Risk level trends - Norwegian Shelf Phase 3 2000), the NPD management organised a meeting with industry representatives, where an agreement was reached on a goal of a 50% reduction in gas leaks with a leakage rate higher than 0,1 kg/s on the Norwegian shelf over two years.

The purpose of the audit

The goal of the audit is to assess the Snorre A organisation's day-to-day follow-up of gas leaks, including registration, internal and external reporting, identification of causes, and establishing, processing and closing of measures. Implemented and planned actions to prevent gas leaks on Snorre A will also be assessed, particularly the use of analyses.

The result of the audit

A series of measures that contribute to a better focus and prevention of incidents classified as gas leaks has been implemented on Snorre A, and others are planned.

We would like to mention the project "Robustgjøring Snorre A" (Making Snorre A more robust), upgrading of fire and gas coverage in modules P35, P45 and P47, the work mate programme, simulator training on land, training in process safety (due to transfer of experience from Statfjord), the valve course and personal gas meters for the operators.

The signals from the management on board, that there is always time to do the job in a safe way, have been clearly communicated and understood in the organisation.

We have, however, found room for improvement in such matters as the process of preparing an SJA, identifying repeat incidents, updating operating documentation and the use of data and experiences related to gas leaks in analyses and when planning jobs.