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Audit - marine technology and electrical disciplines on Eirik Raude

During the period 29 June - 1 July 2004, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), assisted by the Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD), conducted an audit on board the drilling rig Eirik Raude operated by Ocean Rig AS. The audit targeted management systems and technical conditions within the areas of marine technology and electrical disciplines, including stability, ballast system, weather and watertight integrity, power supply, dynamic positioning system and rescue equipment, as well as technical electrical aspects.

The activity was carried out by means of a review of documentation, interviews of Ocean Rig personnel and verifications on board the installation.

Background for the audit

The Eirik Raude is a semi-submersible mobile drilling rig constructed during the period 1997 - 2002 at the Dalian New Shipyard in China, Friede Goldman Offshore in Pascagoula, MS, USA and Halifax Irving Shipyard in Canada.

The rig has never previously operated on the Norwegian shelf.

Ocean Rig A/S has applied for an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for the rig. The company has a contract with Statoil and Norsk Hydro for drilling on the Norwegian shelf, with start-up of operations planned for October 2004.

Purpose of the audit

The objective of this activity was to verify whether management and technical aspects within the marine technology and electrical disciplines on the Eirik Raude are in compliance with the regulatory requirements.

The verification was carried out on the basis of information received in connection with the company's AoC application.

Result of the audit

To prepare the rig for operation on the Norwegian shelf, a program is underway as regards winterization. Four anchor winches will also be installed so that the Eirik Raude can operate as a slack-moored rig.

The verification uncovered new non-conformances that were not identified in the AoC application, specifically within the areas of ballast systems, weather and watertight integrity, rescue equipment and electrical facilities.

Potential for improvement was also noted as regards bilge systems and circumstances surrounding loss of overpressure in enclosed spaces.

It also emerged in this process that familiarity with the rig and training in the use of emergency procedures was not satisfactory.

The audit report was sent to Ocean Rig AS on 8 July 2004.

Contact person in the PSA:
Mike Theiss