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Audit of Hammerfest LNG pursuant to the Regulations relating to major accidents

During the period 21-22 October 2008, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Hammerfest LNG on Melkøya. The audit was carried out in line with the requirements for annual audits specified in the Regulations relating to major accidents. We identified no non-conformities from the regulatory requirements.


The audit furthermore covered areas relating to start-up of the facility and the initial problems encountered in that connection.

LNG-anlegget på Melkøya (kilde: StatoilHydro)

The LNG plant on Melkøya (source: StatoilHydro)

Background for the audit
The audit was conducted on the basis of the Temporary regulations relating to safety and working environment for certain facilities on land and associated pipeline systems, which make reference to the Regulations relating to major accidents. These regulations stipulate requirements for the authorities’ audits as regards measures to prevent and limit the consequences of major accidents. The audit was also based on the experience gained from the start-up of the LNG plant and the challenges encountered in that connection.

Background for the audit
The audit was conducted on the basis of the Temporary regulations relating to safety and working environment for certain facilities on land and associated pipeline systems, which make reference to the Regulations relating to major accidents. These regulations stipulate requirements for the authorities’ audits as regards measures to prevent and limit the consequences of major accidents. The audit was also based on the experience gained from the start-up of the LNG plant and the challenges encountered in that connection.

The purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify compliance with applicable regulatory requirements in areas affecting the risks of a major accident. Prioritised topics included evaluations of changes in the risk level, emergency preparedness plans, local authority relations and information to the public, routines for notification and reporting of undesirable incidents, compared against the requirements in the Regulations relating to major accidents and other relevant regulatory requirements.

The result of the audit
The HSE authorities have prepared an overview of relevant topics for the audit including measures to prevent and limit the consequences of a major accident. This overview was used as a basis for the audit activities. 

We did not identify any nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements, nor did the audit give any indications that StatoilHydro does not comply with the requirements relating to the above-mentioned topic.

We identified one area where there is potential for improvement. This concerned the ALARP principle* and the calculation of FAR values**.


*The ALARP principle entails that the risk must be reduced As Low As Reasonably Practicable.
**FAR (Fatal Accident Rate). The number of fatalities per 100,000,000 hours of exposure.