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Audit of drilling activities and use of risk analyses on Grane

During the period 7 March ? 16 June 2006, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of the management of drilling activities and use of risk analyses in connection with drilling and well activities on Grane.

Background for the audit
The audit is part of the PSA's priority commitment to increasing the understanding and use of risk analyses. We want to check that the analyses are complied with and used by personnel involved in connection with planning and implementation of drilling and well activities.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to establish an understanding of how risk analyses and their results are used by involved personnel at various levels in connection with planning and implementation of drilling and well operations on the Grane facility.

Another objective of the audit was to consider whether the personnel on the facility had sufficient experience and expertise as regards use and understanding of the methods that should be used when planning the activities.

It is important to re-examine the level of quality as regards how experience is communicated in shift meetings, planning meetings, pre-job meetings and Safe Job Analyses (SJAs).

Relevant regulatory requirements:

  • From the Management Regulations:
    Section 2 relating to barriers
    Section 3 relating to management of health, environment and safety
    Section 11 relating to manning and competence
    Section 13 relating to general requirements for analyses
    Section 14 relating to analysis of major accident risk
    Section 15 relating to quantitative risk analyses and emergency preparedness analyses
  • From the Facilities Regulations:
    Section 9 relating to plants, systems and equipment
    Section 19 relating to ergonomic design
  • From the Activities Regulations:
    Section 19 relating to competence
    Section 20 relating to safety and working environment training according to the Working Environment Act
    Section 21 relating to practice and exercises
    Section 28 relating to actions during conduct of activities
    Section 29 relating to monitoring and control
    Section 31 relating to arrangement of work

Result of the audit
The audit revealed close cooperation in the land organization between the operating, drilling and well service companies. Good cooperation was noted both on land and on the Grane facility.

In connection with follow-up and use of risk and emergency preparedness analyses, the companies are responsible for ensuring that all relevant operational and technical limitations are noted and implemented in the planning and execution of activities.

Deficiencies were noted in relation to the SEPA analysis (safety and emergency preparedness analysis) and the HSE resumé as regards knowledge of the content and responsibility for following up on this in operations.

A need was identified for increased competence on the part of the crew and the responsible personnel on the facility as regards achieving sufficient quality in the performance of Safe Job Analyses, HAZIDs (Hazard identification) and other risk assessments that are used in the planning processes on the facility.

No formal competency requirements were applied as regards the responsibility for conducting and implementing the risk analyses on the facility. There was a requirement for completion of a course in safe job analyses, but this was the same type of course required for everyone involved in the activities.

This issue relates to the quality of implementation without persons who have additional skills in relation to these types of qualifications. Persons responsible for execution should have adequate experience and knowledge of the methods used and the purpose of these types of analyses, regardless of his/her own role and responsibilities.

In connection with use of risk analyses, some challenges were noted with regard to ensuring that analyses were carried out that provided the necessary basis for decisions aimed at safeguarding health, environment and safety.
The purpose of each analysis should be clearly communicated, including the conditions, assumptions and restrictions that are used as a basis. The individual analysis shall be presented in such a way that the target groups receive a balanced and comprehensive presentation of the results.

During the audit, we identified a potential for improvement as regards ensuring that the drilling crew and representatives of the well service companies on the facility have this knowledge.

The audit revealed deficiencies regarding how the drilling crew is manned. This factor is of great significance to ensuring a good climate of cooperation on board. The matter was still being evaluated when the audit was conducted.

There were some challenges related to the size of the deck area and storage capacity in the drilling area on the facility. As the distance to well targets could increase in the future, this could lead to additional challenges in relation to storage capacity and the range of the drilling equipment.

The technical equipment on the drill floor functioned satisfactorily and the users were satisfied with the facility. We noted that the drilling unit had high regularity, but also some challenges in relation to controlling the drilling system in connection with overbridging to soft running during equipment handling in and out on the drill floor.

Contact person in the PSA:
Mike Theiss
E-mail: Michael.Theiss@ptil.no