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Audit of follow-up of Kårstø incidents

During the period 7-8 April 2005, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Gassco's management of the follow-up of incidents and, during the period 27-28 April 2005, an audit of Gassco's "Technical Service Provider" (TSP), Statoil's management of the follow-up of incidents. The audit activities focused on how work is carried out to prevent incidents and how the company can learn from the incidents.

The audit activities are based on the following regulations:

  • Temporary regulations relating to safety and working environment for certain petroleum facilities on land and connected pipeline systems (Temporary regulations).

  • Regulations relating to systematic health, environment and safety activities in the companies (Internal control regulations).

  • Regulations relating to measures to prevent and limit detrimental effects of major accidents in activities involving hazardous chemicals (Regulations relating to major accidents).


Background for the audit

KårstøDuring the last half of 2004 and in 2005, there has been a high level of activity at Kårstø (photo) in connection with the KEP 2005 project, at the same time as the process facility has been in full operation.

During the last six months the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has been notified of several incidents related to the operations at Kårstø.

Incidents related to both the project and to the actual operations have been reported. Minor changes in the course of events could have resulted in serious personal injuries.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to examine how Gassco and TSP Statoil manage the preventive HSE work in order to prevent incidents and how work is carried out to learn from the actual undesirable incidents at the Kårstø facility.

Furthermore, in our audit we wanted to determine how involved the management is in the prevention of incidents.

Result of the audit

Our main impression subsequent to the audit is that Gassco and Statoil are in a phase where they are establishing the necessary routines to improve the safety work at Kårstø.

The management has understood the situation and takes it seriously. This is based on the following observations:

  • The cooperation between Gassco and Statoil has shown a positive development and conditions that could impede this cooperation have not been identified.

  • The Statoil management has acknowledged that their own involvement is an important factor with regard to preventing and learning from incidents.

  • The safety work in the KEP 2005 project has been strengthened by the introduction of the "blue jackets."

  • The project organisation has been strengthened by the operations organisation having transferred several experienced employees.


However, some work still remains in order to ensure that the measures function as intended:

  • There is room for improvement of the planning activities in order to prevent incidents.
  • The necessary routines have not been implemented for verifying that the identified measures after incidents function as intended after implementation.
  • The Kårstø employees could be more involved in the HSE work.
  • The improvement efforts consist to a minor extent of improvements to the system.
  • The work permit system requires particular emphasis so that parallel activities do not have a negative effect on the safety objective.
  • The operations organisation seems to be somewhat weakened as a result of several experienced employees having been transferred to the project.

Contact person i the Petroleum Safety Authority
Mike Theiss