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Audit of capacity and competence in the operator-contractor interface

Audit: During the period 26-30 October 2009, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of StatoilHydro UPN (now Statoil Petroleum AS) and Fabricom. The audit targeted management of capacity and competence in the interface between operator and contractor. We have identified two nonconformities in relation to the regulations.


The audit was carried out in the form of meetings with the StatoilHydro UPN and Fabricom project organisations for Snorre Redevelopment on land, and by means of verification on the Snorre A facility. In the Snorre Redevelopment project, Fabricom will carry out several sub-projects for StatoilHydro UPN on the Snorre field.

StatoilHydro has established its own staff at the Fabricom work site, with facility-specific expertise concerning Snorre A. On the Snorre A facility, a project team has been established with a basic Fabricom crew – currently about 30 people – and with an on-site manager from StatoilHydro (PRO site manager).

In addition, StatoilHydro's area manager, operations and critical maintenance manager, planned maintenance manager, HSE coordinator, OIM and safety manager all have roles to a varying extent in the project activities where Fabricom is involved.

Background for the audit
The audit was related to the PSA's main priority "Management and major accident risk", in which the PSA focuses on the obligation of the companies' management to work in a purposeful manner to reduce the risk of major accidents.

The topic of the audit must be viewed in light of risk and risk management, and how management of capacity and competence in this connection is part of preventing and avoiding accidents.

Capacity and competence are key framework conditions for prudent operations. The audit activities targeting groups at risk in 2008 revealed areas where the industry faces challenges, particularly related to working environment conditions.

The audit showed that management of capacity and competence in the interface between operator and contractor is a challenge with regard to securing sufficient competence in all phases.

Furthermore, the investigation reports from the PSA and from the companies show that deficient competence, training and understanding of risk are factors that are often identified as being essential elements for understanding why accidents happen.

The implementation of a new operations model in StatoilHydro includes a reduction in offshore manning. Through risk analyses, risk assessments and audit activities, challenges have been identified related to both capacity and competence in the implementation phase in which the company now finds itself.

Purpose of the audit
The paramount objective of the activity was to follow up to ensure that the operator has capacity and competence management that spans the interface between the operator's own organisation and the contractors the company works with. The audit activity was also aimed at the potential effects of the integration process on the contractor's framework conditions for capacity and competence.

More specifically, the objective was to evaluate how StatoilHydro:

  • ensures sufficient capacity and competence on the part of the contractor
  • ensures that the contractor's employees have adequate training in facility-specific matters
  • verifies the contractor's stated capacity and competence
  • ensures evaluation of overall capacity and competence seen in light of the integration process

By carrying out an audit activity that focuses on management of capacity and competence in the interface between operator and contractor, we will achieve better insight into:

  • how the management views its own role in relation to ensuring capacity and competence management so as to carry out prudent operations
  • the players' (the operator and the contractor) assessment of the need for various types of competence in the organisation
  • how companies that outsource tasks assess and follow up their contracts
  • how contracts are applied as a policy instrument in the management of capacity and competence across the interface between operator and contractor
  • the impact the integration process in StatoilHydro has on the contractor's framework conditions
  • the contractor's involvement in the assessment of capacity and competence in a new organisation model

Result of the audit
Through the audit activity, we have revealed that StatoilHydro and Fabricom have challenges related to the systematic processes to ensure understanding of risk.

We also see challenges in the management of competence on the part of Fabricom, as well as challenges related to sufficient capacity on the part of StatoilHydro in the interface between operator and contractor. 

We have identified two nonconformities in relation to the regulations:

  • Deficient systematic organisation of StatoilHydro's processes to supervise and ensure, and on the part of Fabricom to ensure that relevant risk factors are known to the contractor
  • Deficient management of competence in Fabricom
     

We have identified one item with room for improvement:

  • Capacity challenges at the facility level on the part of StatoilHydro

Journal 2009/240