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Audit of emergency exercise – VNG Norge AS

Audit: On 28 May 2009 the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of the operator VNG Norge AS' (VNG) onshore emergency preparedness organisation. We did not identify any non-conformities in relation to regulatory requirements.

The audit was related to the implementation of the operator's scheduled emergency exercise and was carried out by observation of the operator's second line emergency preparedness.

VNG carried out the drill as part of the preparations for exploration drilling on production licence 270, well 35/3-7 S, with the drilling facility Bredford Dolphin.

VNG’s second line emergency preparedness is supervised by AGR Petroleum Services AS (AGR) which also mans the VNG emergency preparedness organisation.  The drill was carried out at AGR's Emergency Operations Centre, which is located at Skøyen in Oslo.

The emergency exercise consisted of two scenarios, fire on board the facility and leakage of hydrocarbons from the reservoir to the surface.

Background for the audit
According to the letter of award from the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion (AID), the  PSA is to establish standards for and follow up to ensure that the players in the petroleum industry maintain a high level for health, environment, safety and emergency preparedness, and through this contribute to creating the greatest possible value for society.

The PSA shall also contribute to reducing the risk level in the petroleum activities by following up to ensure that the players facilitate technical and operational integrity, and the interaction between people, technology and organisation.

Furthermore, one of the tasks of the PSA is to follow up that the players safeguard the management of their activities. Emergency preparedness constitutes central parts of the technical, operational and organisational barrier elements, and it is important to safeguard these to maintain a high safety level.

Purpose of the audit
PSA wanted to verify that VNG is able to handle hazard and accident situations according to applicable regulatory requirements. VNG was to demonstrate this by using its own emergency preparedness plans and emergency preparedness organization during the scheduled the drill.

Result of the audit
Improvement items have been identified within the division of responsibility, proactive emergency control management, handling of information regarding deceased persons and practical routines in the emergency operations centre. No non-conformities were identified related to the drill.