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Audit of management of the integrity of the Norpipe Oil Pipeline

Audit: The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have conducted a joint supervisory activity related to management of the integrity of the ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS (COPSAS) Norpipe Oil Pipeline.


The audit was conducted according to the following plan:

  • Meeting with COPSAS management team at the Stavanger office on Wednesday, 4th February 2009.
  • Meeting with General Electric (GE) PII, in-line inspection contractor, at the Cramlington office on Thursday, 5th February 2009.

Location of the Norpipe Oil Pipeline (source: ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS)

Background for the audit
The Norpipe crude oil pipeline (see map) has been subject to in-line inspection as part of the pipeline integrity assurance scheme. In 2006 the results of the magnetic flux leakage (MFL) inspection identified a large number of internal corrosion defects and significant corrosion growth rates when compared with the previous inspection.

Following these findings, COPSAS implemented a range of corrosion control measures, along with an enhanced pipeline inspection regime in order to monitor the success of the measures and the ongoing pipeline condition.

Purpose of the audit
The objectives of the audit were to:

  • Review COPSAS management systems.
  • Review GE PII management systems.
  • Review assessments intended to safeguard pipeline integrity.
  • Review proposed and ongoing integrity assurance measures.

The audit was to be conducted in accordance with agreements between British and Norwegian authorities, and to demonstrate compliance with the HSE Pipeline Safety Regulations of 1996 and the Norwegian Management and Activities Regulations of 2001.

Result of the audit
The joint supervisory activity identified that significant progress has been made in relation to the control of internal corrosion on the Norpipe Oil Pipeline, and that currently the situation appears to be under control.

It was however recognised that the corrosion measures and associated inspection data cover a relatively short period of time, and ongoing review of the pipeline integrity will be required.

We experienced an open and positive dialogue with all parties involved in the audit.