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Audit of maintenance management in Transocean Offshore Ltd

During the period 20-23 March 2007, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of maintenance management in Transocean Offshore Ltd (TO). TO does not meet the regulatory requirements for maintenance management, nor does the company meet the requirements for handling of nonconformities. We found the conditions to be so serious that we issued a notification of order in a letter dated 23 March 2007, followed by an order in a letter dated 3 April 2007.


Background for the audit

The PSA is to set standards and follow up to ensure that the players in the petroleum activities maintain high standards of health, safety and environment and thereby contribute to creating the greatest possible value for society.

This follow-up shall be system-oriented and risk-based, and it shall come in addition to the follow-up the industry itself is responsible for.

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

"The authorities believe it is necessary to further develop management models for operations and maintenance in cooperation with the industry to ensure a joint commitment towards strengthening the quality of maintenance in the petroleum activities, through measures such as further development of methods and technologies, enhancing expertise and research."

Chapter 5.4 of Storting White Paper No. 12 (2005-2006) on health, environment and safety in the petroleum activities points out that deficient maintenance can increase the risk of major accidents, injuries and accidents, and the White Paper refers to a fairly comprehensive review of audit reports that reveals a relatively high incidence of regulatory nonconformities, including deficiencies in prioritizing maintenance, assessment of critical factors, follow-up of temporary equipment, unsatisfactory documentation and outstanding maintenance of critical safety equipment. In some cases, competence in maintenance management was also insufficient.

The relevant requirements relating to maintenance are laid down in particular in the Activities Regulations and the Management Regulations.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to check whether TO carries out classification of equipment in accordance with the prevailing regulations and recognized norms, ref. the Activities Regulations, Chapter IX relating to maintenance.

Another objective was to evaluate how TO uses this classification to manage the maintenance.

Result of the audit

The results are based on the presentation of elements in TO's management system and conversations with selected personnel, first and foremost the process owners of the maintenance, with subsequent verification of governing documents and systems for carrying out maintenance on TO's facilities in Norway.

TO does not fulfill the regulatory requirements for maintenance management, nor does the company fulfill the requirements for handling of nonconformities.

We found the conditions to be so serious that a notification of order was issued in a letter dated 23 March 2007, followed by an order in a letter dated 3 April 2007.

Most of our observations are characterized as nonconformities, ref. the categorization in Chapter 5, and are grouped under the following main areas:

  • Classification of systems and equipment.
  • Documentation and communication of the classification that is performed.
  • Use of classification as a basis for selecting and prioritizing maintenance.
  • Managing outstanding maintenance, with possible consequences for managing daily operations.
  • Handling and documentation of nonconformities.

Some improvement items were also observed.

Contact in the PSA:
Ole-Johan Faret, press contact
E-mail:
ole-johan.faret@ptil.no
Tel.: +47 51 87 67 59