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Audit of management of barriers on Eldfisk – sub-report

Audit: The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) is currently conducting an audit of ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS (ConocoPhillips) relating to the company’s management of barriers on the Eldfisk Complex (Eldfisk A, FTP and E). The audit is directed towards prevention of major accidents in connection with operation and maintenance of process facilities.

The audit is being conducted as an inspection. Part of the audit is conducted in cooperation with supervisory authorities who participated in the North Sea Authorities Forum (NSOAF) and comprised worksite supervision.

Worksite supervision is a prioritised area for NSOAF in 2008, and under this topic there will be activities directed at four operators on the Norwegian Shelf this year. That part of the audit which addresses worksite supervision will take place in the course of the autumn of 2008, with interviews in ConocoPhillips’ land organisation, partly in collaboration with personnel from the Danish Energy Agency.

The ongoing audit also comprises assessments of ConocoPhillips’ system for barrier analysis and how this is implemented and followed up on Eldfisk. This part of the audit is considered to have been completed following the visit to the Eldfisk facilities in the period 30 June – 2 July 2008, and this document is a sub-report for this part of the audit. The results thereof will be included in assessments on how such a barrier mapping process can contribute to good framework conditions so that worksite supervision on the facilities can sufficiently safeguard barrier status considerations.

The report for the remaining parts of the audit will be completed in the winter of 2008/2009.

Notification of the audit was given on 23 April 2008. A kick-off meeting was held on 27 May 2008, interviews with the land organisation on 2 June 2008, and interviews and verifications on the facilities in the period 30 June – 2 July 2008. This report is based on these activities and document  collection conducted to and including 2 July 2008.

Background for the audit

The background for the audits is as follows:

  • Audit of technical safety, safety, control and electrical systems, November 2006, identified several defects related to barrier status. Through this audit we have become acquainted with ConocoPhillips’ plans for conducting barrier analyses on Eldfisk. We wish to gain further insight into the lessons learned from this process through presentations and verifications.
  •  Explosion in hypochlorite unit and gas leak following modification – both on Eldfisk E in the summer of 2007 – had complex underlying causes, including causes related to change management. We wish to follow up measures implemented after these incidents.
  • We are aware that ConocoPhillips plans to submit an application for operations beyond the design life for Eldfisk. Through the audit of barrier management we wish to prepare for the processing of this application.
  • The multi-national NSOAF audit team is conducting an audit series on the topic of worksite supervision – this topic is part of this activity.


Eldfisk Complex

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit is to obtain an overview of processes and systems that contribute to a unified management of barriers on Eldfisk, and assess this in relation to prevailing requirements. The audit is directed towards prevention of major accidents in connection with operation and maintenance of process facilities.

Result of the audit
ConocoPhillips has implemented important work on assessing performance and criticality of barriers on Eldfisk. Measures have also been implemented to improve safety management – reference has for example been made to:

  • process safety course for leading personnel,
  • Hazop review of selected systems in the course of 2008.

During the audit we identified one deviation from the regulatory requirements related to performance requirements for barrier elements, and a potential for improvement in the following areas:

  • Quality assurance of observations in barrier analysis.
  • Follow-up of observations from the barrier analysis.
  • Identification of  deviations from minimum requirements and follow-up of this.
  • Description of work process for barrier analysis and follow-up of this.