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Audit of manufacture of flexible pipes and risers for Alvheim

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has conducted an audit of Marathon's compliance with regulatory requirements and project-specific requirements established in connection with qualification, design/engineering and manufacture of flexible pipes and risers for Alvheim. We have not identified nonconformities in this audit activity, but we have found some areas where there is potential for improvement.


The audit got underway with an opening meeting with Marathon and Technip Offshore Norge AS (TONOR) in the latter's offices on 22 November 2005.

The audit continued on 23 and 24 November with meetings, conversations and verifications with the manufacturer of flexible pipes, Flexi France in Le Trait.

A summing up meeting was held at Flexi France's offices on 24 November 2005.

Alvheim

Background for the audit

One of the key performance measurements for the PSA in 2005 is that we are to contribute to reducing the risk level for the petroleum activities in general.

To achieve this, our activities must include ensuring that the players facilitate and ensure the technical and operational integrity of the facilities.

We are also responsible for ensuring that the players facilitate clear and unambiguous interaction that contributes to clear lines of responsibility and framework conditions that promote a positive development when it comes to HSE.

There have been a number of incidents linked to flexible risers on the Norwegian continental shelf in recent years.

Riser-related incidents often have a significant potential in relation to the risk of major accidents due to their location on the facilities. In several of these incidents we have seen new failure modes that have not been identified in the design phase.

Based on this, we have found it necessary to maintain our focus on qualification, engineering/design and manufacture of flexible pipes.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of this audit was to follow up to ensure that Marathon, TONOR and Flexi France comply with regulatory requirements and the project's own requirements established in connection with qualification, engineering/design and manufacture of flexible pipes and risers for Alvheim.

Another objective has been to see how Marathon fulfills its duty to ensure compliance in relation to TONOR as supplier and in relation to Flexi France as subcontractor for delivery of flexible pipes.

Result of the audit

Our main impression is that compliance with regulatory requirements and the project's own requirements established in connection with qualification, design/engineering and manufacture of flexible pipes and risers for Alvheim has been handled in a satisfactory manner.

We have not identified any nonconformities in this audit activity, but we have found some areas where there is potential for improvement.

Marathon's organization chart for Alvheim, work instructions for Marathon's on-site representative, Flexi France's internal audit plan for 2005 and system for handling nonconformities are areas in which improvement potential was identified.

Contact in the PSA:
Mike Theiss