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Audit of electrical installations and technical safety on Alvheim

On 19 February 2008, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of electrical installations and technical safety on the mobile production facility (FPSO) Alvheim. We identified four new nonconformities in relation to regulatory requirements.

The audit was conducted while the facility was anchored in Åmøyfjorden, and constituted part of our processing of Maersk Contractors Norge AS' (MCN's) application for acknowledgement of compliance (AoC) for the facility.

Background for the audit
FPSO Alvheim is a former tanker (then called the M/T ODIN) which the operator, Marathon Petroleum Company Norway (MPC(N)), has rebuilt into an FPSO. MPC(N) has applied for consent to use the facility on the Alvheim field.

Alvheim FPSO
Alvheim FPSO (Source: APL)

MCN will be operating the facility during the production phase and has applied for an AOC for the facility.

The PSA's audit activity was a further follow-up of previous audits carried out in Haugesund and at the Keppel Shipyard Ltd in Singapore in connection with rebuilding activities for the Alvheim hull.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify follow-up of previously identified nonconformities and deficiencies, and to verify compliance with relevant regulatory requirements linked to the electrical, technical safety and working environment areas.

Another objective was to follow up elements where MCN wanted to apply for exceptions from prevailing regulations and to verify the players' plans for completing outstanding activities.

Result of the audit
It is our impression that systematic work is taking place to remedy the previously identified nonconformities.

Some work remains in connection with labeling and disconnection of superfluous equipment, as well as tidying up the instrumentation cabinet.

The fact that a decision has been made to keep the CO2 room extinguishing systems in five fire areas is also a challenge as regards training and implementation of safety measures.  It is important that MCN ensures that everyone on board is informed about the hazard, and that everyone is trained in evacuation of the relevant fire areas.

Section 9 of the Framework Regulations and Section 5 of the Management Regulations also set guidelines for selecting solutions and reducing risk, which in principle make the use of CO2 room extinguishing systems not very desirable, as other equally good or better systems with less inherent risk are available.

Four new nonconformities were found in connection with the verification.