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Audit of emergency preparedness, rescue equipment/means and helideck on Leiv Eiriksson

From 8 to 10 April 2008 the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of the mobile drilling facility Leiv Eiriksson while in operation west of the Shetlands. The audit was conducted in the areas of emergency preparedness, sea rescue equipment/means and the helideck. We identified 21 non-conformances with the regulatory requirements.

The audit was performed with assistance from the Norwegian Maritime Directorate and the Civil Aviation Authority. The audit was conducted through document review, interviews and verifications on board the facility.

Leiv Eiriksson (source: ABB)

Background for the audit
The audit was linked to the application for Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from Ocean Rig A/S for the mobile drilling facility Leiv Eiriksson. The facility will be on contract to Norske Shell and the plan is to use the facility for drilling two wells on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The facility is being used on the Irish and British Continental Shelves  for well assignments before heading for the Norwegian Shelf in the course of 2008. Leiv Eiriksson was located west of the Shetlands on assignment for Shell during the audit.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify that management and technical matters regarding emergency preparedness, rescue equipment/means, helideck and helicopter operations were in compliance with the Norwegian regulatory requirements.

Result of the audit
Twenty-one non-conformances and seven improvement items were identified regarding organization of emergency preparedness, rescue equipment/means, helideck and organization of helicopter operations.


  • Training and drills (the person responsible does not ensure that necessary training and necessary drills are conducted, so that personnel are able to handle operational disturbances and hazardous and accident situations in an efficient manner at all times).
  • Performance requirements for emergency preparedness (performance requirements not followed up systematically).
  • Firefighter equipment (firefighter team equipment not in accordance with regulations).
  • Maintenance of firefighting equipment (deficient maintenance of fire extinguishing equipment).
  • Escape routes (during the inspection we observed escape routes that did not meet the requirement for free passage).
  • Cabin doors (doors lacked kick panel).
  • Life jackets (life jackets not in accordance with the additional requirements in the Norwegian Maritime Directorate’s regulations for mobile facilities).
  • Launching system (stopper on wire in front of lifeboat no. 4 missing).
  • Man overboard boat (instructions for operation of engine not posted, wind protection/window on MOB-boat was defect).
  • Life rafts (hydrostatic release mechanism did not have expiry date stamped on. The facility has a Marine Evacuation System, Selantic escape chutes that were not in accordance with the regulatory requirements).
  • Unimpeded take-off and landing sector (210o sector not free of obstacles. Floodlights stand out more than 25 cm).
  • Wind sock (wind sock not illuminated).
  • Marking of unimpeded sector (starting point for marking of unimpeded sector was not as prescribed).
  • Marking of access routes (easy-to-read signs not posted as required).
  • Marking of exits (exits not marked with ”EXIT” and ”UTGANG” signs).
  • Communications equipment (VHF radios were not used due to defective parts).
  • Marking of cabinets for firefighting equipment (cabinets for storing equipment not marked as prescribed).
  • Journal for operation of helicopter deck (no journal kept for operation of helicopter deck).

Improvement items 

  • Use of the Norwegian language (instructions for use of Selantic excape chute only in English).
  • Maintenance of firewater monitors on the helideck (firewater monitors on helideck corroded).
  • Man overboard boat (VHF telephone set installed did not work satisfactory).
  • Friction (helideck slippery when wet).
  • Tank system for fuel (large accumulation (spill) of fuel in the tank system).
  • Information to the platform manager on operation of helideck (OIM/platform manager was not notified in writing at regular intervals on the status of the helicopter deck, equipment and services).
  • Equipment for firefighting (index did not reflect all the contents of cabinets. The cabinet for ”NØDUTSTYR” and ”EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT” was not locked or sealed).