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Audit - management of third party equipment and companies on Mærsk Giant

During the period 20-23 October 2003 the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) conducted an audit concerning management of third party equipment and companies on Mærsk Giant (photo). The audit was implemented through meetings with the land organizations in ConocoPhillips A/S and Maersk Contractors Norge A/S (Maersk), and through verification on board the installation.

Background for the audit

The NPD participates in the North Sea Offshore Authorities Forum (NSOAF), which has decided that for mobile drilling installations each country (Norway, Denmark, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands) would conduct audits in 2003 entitled "Management of requirements related to third party equipment, follow-up and training". The NPD chose Maersk and Saipem as players for this audit.

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The audit of Maersk was directed towards management of third party equipment and companies on Mærsk Giant.

The activity affects both the drilling contractor and the operator and was therefore conducted through meetings with the respective operating units in ConocoPhillips and Maersk on land in addition to interviews/discussions with personnel and verifications on board the installation.

Puropose of the audit

In an NSOAF context all countries will conduct their activities on the basis of their national regulatory requirements. Accordingly, this activity has been conducted on the basis of the NPD's regulatory requirements for HES.

Important elements to follow up have been the following:

  • Evaluate the companies' management system related to handling of third parties, with special focus on descriptions and compliance with the roles and responsibilities of the various players.

  • Verify that testing, operation and maintenance of third party equipment is carried out.

  • Verify that the requirements for training of third party personnel have been complied with.

In addition to verifying that the companies comply with the regulatory requirements, one of the purposes of the audit will be to use the results to increase the understanding and implementation of the various regulatory requirements across national borders in the North Sea basin.

A final report with experiences and recommendations from the NSOAF will be available after the national audits have been completed.

Result of the audit

In the NPD's opinion, all the players (ConocoPhillips, Maersk and third party companies) have management systems in place that safeguard most of the elements related to management of third party equipment and companies.

ConocoPhillips' system for handling third party equipment and companies has been adapted to equipment that is sent from the base to its own installations and not to drilling installations such as Mærsk Giant, where the drilling contractor's management system applies.

We have noted that the company's system for checking the equipment when received at the base is not described in the management system, and that the described checks that are made to a very small extent appear in the documentation reviewed on the installation.

Roles and responsibility for handling third party equipment on the installation can be improved in some areas in Maersk's management system.

We noted that unclear roles and responsibilities led to lack of compliance with some internal requirements. Areas where unclear elements emerged include handling of deviations related to third party equipment, description of the responsibility of the operator's representative on board and matters related to inspection and checking of third party equipment.

It is the supplier's/owner's responsibility to ensure that maintenance and testing of third party equipment are carried out in accordance with the regulations. ConocoPhillips' and Maersk's roles and responsibilities for follow-up in this connection should be improved.

Contact person in the PSA:
Mike Theiss