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Audit of equipment for use in explosion hazard areas at Melkøya

During the period 22-23 May 2006, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) audited Statoil's compliance with the requirements in the Regulations pertaining to equipment and safety systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres at Melkøya LNG. We did not identify any non-conformities or areas for improvement during the audit. We therefore believe that Statoil has implemented the Regulations in a satisfactory manner.


The main part of the audit activity was directed at the product follow-up of non-electric ignition sources.

Background for the audit

Hydrocarbon leaks with potential consequences such as fire and explosion are major contributors to risks on facilities which produce or refine hydrocarbons. Measures and barriers related to the risks involved in hydrocarbon leaks are governed by relevant regulations.

The Regulations relating to equipment and safety systems for use in potentially explosive areas and the Regulations relating to health and safety in potentially explosive atmospheres implement EU Directives 94/9/EF (the Product Directive) and 99/92/EF (the User Directive), respectively. The Product Directive regulates the market for equipment and safety systems for use in potentially explosive areas.

Both electric and non-electric ignition sources are regulated. The implementation of the directive entailed a real change in the need to make risk assessments related to non-electric ignition sources. The audit therefore focused especially on non-electric ignition sources, more specifically through product follow-up at construction sites.

The User Directive is a minimum directive which sets requirements for the design of workplaces and work equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres. During the audit, we paid particular attention to risk assessments made in the process of establishing the explosion protection document.

Hydrocarbon leaks and barriers related to major accident risk is a priority area in the PSA's activity plan.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify if Statoil has implemented the Regulations relating to equipment and safety systems for use in potentially explosive areas and the Regulations relating to health and safety in potentially explosive atmospheres in a satisfactory manner. Special emphasis was placed on product control of non-electric ignition sources and use of harmonised standards.

Result of the audit

Melkøya (source: Høgskolen i Finnmark)The audit was carried out as a verification/random sample control (product control) at Melkøya LNG (photo).

The verification related to Regulations relating to equipment and safety systems for use in potentially explosive areas identified no non-conformities.

Verification of the implementation of Regulations relating to health and safety in potentially explosive atmospheres was conducted as a document review/presentation.

We received the impression that Statoil has implemented the Regulations in a satisfactory manner.

Contact in the PSA:
Mike Theiss