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Audit of maintenance management in Talisman Energy Norge AS

Audit: During the period 21 - 23 April 2009, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of maintenance management in Talisman Energy Norge AS (TENAS). We identified four non-conformities in relation to the regulatory requirements. In addition we discovered one potential improvement.

TENAS is the operator for the Gyda, Varg and Blane fields, and has ownership interests in several other producing fields.

 Gyda and Petrojarl Varg

The Gyda facility and Petrojarl Varg

Background for the audit
The PSA is to set standards for, and follow up to ensure that the players in the petroleum activities maintain high standards as regards health, safety and the environment, thereby contributing towards creating the greatest possible values for the Norwegian society. 

The follow-up shall be system-oriented and risk-based, and shall be supplementary to the industry's own follow-up. 

Storting White Paper No. 7 (2001-2002) Chapter 4.12.2 relating to health, safety and environment in the petroleum activities states e.g. the following regarding maintenance management: 

"The authorities are of the opinion that it is necessary to further develop management models for operations and maintenance in cooperation with the industry in order to ensure a joint effort to strenghten the quality of maintenance in the petroleum activities through, for example, development of methods and technologies, competence enhancement and research." 

Storting White Paper No. 12 (2005-2006) relating to health, safety and the environment  in the petroleum activities emphasises in Chapter 5.4 that deficient maintenance may increase the risk of major accidents, injuries/damage and incidents, and the White Paper refers to a rather comprehensive review of audit reports which shows a relatively high share of non-conformities in relation to the regulatory requirements.

These include deficient prioritising of maintenance, evaluation of critical conditions, follow-up of temporary equipment, unsatisfactory documentation and outstanding maintenance of safety-critical equipment. In some cases, moreover,  competence relating to maintenance management was inadequate. 

Current requirements related to maintenance management are stipulated specifically in the Activities Regulations and the Management Regulations.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to

  • investigate whether TENAS conducts classification of equipment in concurrence with applicable regulatory requirements and recognized standards, cf. Chapter IX of the Activities Regulations  relating to maintenance,
  • assess TENAS’ use of this classification in the management of maintenance,
  • investigate the basis for analyses relating to maintenance decisions. 

Result of the audit
The results are based on the presentation of elements in TENAS' management systems and interviews with selected personnel, primarily the owners of the maintenance process, with subsequent verification of governing documents and systems for conducting maintenance on the company's existing facilities in Norway. 

We noted that processes had been initiated to improve and optimise the company's maintenance management, but TENAS does not fulfil all the requirements of the maintenance regulations. 

Most of our observations are characterised as non-conformities, ref. the classification in Chapter 5, and are grouped in the following main categories:

  • Classification of systems and equipment.
  • Use of classification as a basis for the selection and prioritisation of maintenance.
  • Maintenance efficiency.
  • Maintenance status.

As we see the classification, it is rather difficult to form a correct picture of risk as a decision basis for maintenance purposes, the extent of the maintenance needed, and the resources required. 

In addition, we observed one potential improvement item.