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Audit of area preparedness - Oseberg/Troll

In the period 25-27 April 2006, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), in cooperation with the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT), carried out an audit of how Norsk Hydro Produksjon as' (Hydro) safeguards management and capacity as regards the area preparedness on the Oseberg and Troll fields, where Hydro is the primary coordinator of joint preparedness resources.


The audit was divided into an onshore meeting and a verification activity out on the Oseberg Field Centre.

The SFT participated in the onshore meeting.

Oseberg/Troll area


Oseberg/Troll area

Background for the audit

Hydro has been awarded the role as field coordinator with responsibility for coordinating joint preparedness resources, including a SAR helicopter and two area preparedness vessels on Oseberg and Troll. Statoil also participates in this cooperation with its Huldra and Veslefrikk facilities.

A central theme in this regard is how the company safeguards the management of joint preparedness resources, while taking into consideration capacity assessments for the total area preparedness on the Oseberg and Troll fields.

The area preparedness was established as early as 2002, and was made permanent in the autumn of 2005, after a 3-year trial period. The last time an audit of the area preparedness on these fields (link) was conducted, was during the trial period in late 2003/early 2004.

The audit activity was conducted on the basis of Sections 9, 13, 29 and 38 of the Framework Regulations, Sections 11, 20, 21 and 22 of the Management Regulations and Section 64 of the Activities Regulations relating to establishment of preparedness and Section 68 of the same regulations relating to the handling of hazardous and accident situations.

The audit used the consent for area preparedness for Oseberg -Troll (link), granted in the autumn of 2005, as a basis, as well as other governing documents from the involved companies which deal with the area preparedness on the fields.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that Hydro safeguards management and capacity assessments as the field coordinator for the area preparedness on the Oseberg and Troll fields in a responsible manner.

During the audit, emphasis was placed on what principles, processes and methods Hydro employs to ensure responsible distribution and use of joint preparedness resources on the Oseberg and Troll fields, including capacity assessments of all available preparedness resources which in a given situation are to be used within the Oseberg and Troll fields.

In addition, we wanted to be informed of the results of the capacity assessment efforts which were made in 2005 in cooperation with the consultancy firm Safetec.

During the entire audit, the PSA has put emphasis on clarifying how Hydro safeguards preparedness personnel and their expertise, the organisation of preparedness efforts on own and other's facilities, the maintenance of facility-specific preparedness, and the organisation of roles and responsibilities for the field coordinators on Oseberg and Troll.

In addition to themes which concern area preparedness specifically, the verification of the preparedness on board the Oseberg Field Centre was also emphasised.

Result of the audit

During the audit, the PSA did not uncover any issues which will result in a notification of order, but some observations are termed as non-conformities and areas for improvement by the PSA.

Non-conformities:

  • Deficient implementation and knowledge of APOS (Work process-oriented management system) among preparedness personnel.

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Areas for improvement:

  • Lacking physical requirements for preparedness personnel.

  • Preparedness personnel lacking expertise.

  • Area preparedness - unclear division of roles between HFIS and Field Coordinator.

  • Crane operator has not been trained/drilled in use of personnel basket (Frog).

  • Deficient marking/identification of escape routes.

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During our stay at Oseberg Field Centre, a preparedness drill was conducted which included use of both SAR helicopter and the preparedness vessel "Havila Runde".

Contact in the PSA:
Mike Theiss