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Audit of electrical installations, safety systems and working environment on Alvheim FPSO

During the period 28-29 November 2007, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of electrical installations and production systems on the mobile production facility (FPSO) Alvheim. It is our impression that there has been satisfactory follow-up of previously noted nonconformities and improvement items in the area of working environment, however, Maersk Contractors Norge AS (MCN) still has some challenges in the project.

In addition, a follow-up was conducted on 13 December 2007 of general working environment factors and factors related to presentation of information in the central control room on Alvheim.


FPSO Alvheim arriving at Haugesund (Source: Aibel)

Commissioning work was underway on the facility during the audit activities, as the facility was docked in Haugesund. The audit was part of the processing of MCN's application for an (AoC) for the facility.

Background for the audit
FPSO Alvheim is a former tanker (then called MST ODIN) that the operating company Marathon Petroleum Company Norway (MPC) has re-built into an FPSO.

MPC has applied for consent to use the facility on the Alvheim field. MCN will operate the facility during the production phase, and has applied for an AoC for the facility.

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

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

Another objective was to follow up areas in which MCN wanted to apply for exceptions from current regulations, and to verify the players' plans for completing outstanding activities.

Result of the audit
It is our impression that there has been satisfactory follow-up of previously noted nonconformities and improvement items in the area of working environment.

The project has implemented a number of verifying measurements of working environment factors and possesses a good overview of the factors that constitute regulatory nonconformities. Work is underway to correct these factors.

With regard to certain verifying measurements of deck lighting and measurements of noise and vibration in areas outside the living quarters, final verification of regulatory compliance will not take place until the facility has commenced normal operations on the field.

Some weaknesses were revealed with regard to presentation of information on the screens in the central control room. These were largely related to inconsistent presentation of information and difficult visual readability of displays as a consequence of unfortunate use of color combinations.

Furthermore, deficiencies have been uncovered in a project-specific MMI philosophy and design specifications that place clear demands on how information is to be presented and coded to ensure user-friendly, clear and consistent display of information in the control room, for all of the different SAS systems (marine, safety and process systems).

In addition, the greatest challenges in the areas of electrical and technical safety will be:

  • Much of the equipment has become superfluous after the change in use of Alvheim. This equipment must either be removed or disconnected and clearly marked. Cables that cannot be removed must be earthed and labelled.
  • Bringing the originally installed instrumentation cabinet (Kongsberg) into acceptable condition.

New nonconformities and improvement items were also identified.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Mike Theiss