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Audit of Marathon's use of quantitative risk analyses (TRA/QRA)

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has audited Marathon Petroleum Norge AS' (Marathon’s) use of quantitative risk analyses (TRA/QRA).

The audit activity was carried out in the form of a meeting on 3 June 2009 where Marathon presented its work on risk analyses. At the meeting, the audit team had the opportunity to request verifications and to pose questions to relevant personnel. Personnel from Maersk Drilling Norway AS (Maersk) also participated in the meeting.

Risk analyses play a key part in the HSE regulations. Good and practical analyses, carried out at a time when they can affect decisions of significance for the risk level, are a key precondition for being able to design and operate an installation or facility in accordance with the regulations.

The development, implementation, use and follow-up of quantitative risk analyses in a systematic and traceable way is thus an important contribution towards managing risk throughout all stages of a facility's operation.

The regulative basis for this activity is mainly given in Section 15 of the Management Regulations (SF) relating to quantitative risk analyses, as well as other relevant requirements in Chapters I, II, IV and V of the SF, in addition to requirements in Section 9 of the Framework Regulations regarding principles for risk reduction.

The purpose of the audit was to assess whether Marathon has established internal requirements and work processes to ensure that assumptions, preconditions, restrictions and recommendations in the risk analyses are safeguarded.

In our notification letter we asked Marathon to present its requirements and guidelines along with practical examples and experiences from Alvheim FPSO.

Furthermore, we asked Marathon to give an account of any areas of improvement they had identified.

Our general assessment is that Marathon, in cooperation with Maersk, implements many important activities related to implementation and use of quantitative risk analyses at Alvheim FPSO.

We note that there are also important areas for improvement, to a large degree pointed out by Marathon, especially in connection with deficient formalisation of requirements and guidelines, including work processes, roles and responsibility within this area.

The report following the audit discusses potential improvements and other observations. We request an account from Marathon, to be submitted no later than 25 September 2009, of their assessment of these factors, and which measures which may be implemented in that connection.