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Audit of marine systems and load-bearing structures on Alvheim

During the period 18-20 May 2005, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Marathon Petroleum Norge AS (Marathon) targeting risk analyses and maritime factors for Alvheim. The main impression is that Marathon works diligently to solve the challenges associated with the development.


However, the report does contain a number of demonstrated nonconformities, and we request an account of how these will be handled. The report also contains observations of circumstances where there is a potential for improvement.

The PSA carried out an audit during the period 18-20 May 2005 of the detailed engineering for the MS Odin, with emphasis on risk analyses, structural analyses, anchorage analyses and maritime factors.

The audit activity was carried out at the offices of Marathon Petroleum Norge AS (Marathon) in Stavanger, with particular focus on general project management. Audit activities were also carried out at APL in Arendal, with focus on analyses of anchorage. Implementation of the audit activity was concluded at Safetec in Trondheim, with focus on risk analyses of the marine systems.

Background for the audit
The audit was carried out on the basis of the audit implemented in 2004. In addition, when the Plan for Development and Operation of Alvheim was considered, the authorities stipulated conditions for approval of the plan.

Purpose of the audit
The objective of the audit activity was to ensure that Marathon complies with the regulatory requirements pertaining to health, safety and the environment. Particular emphasis was on the use of Section 3 of the Framework Regulations regarding application of maritime regulations in the petroleum activities, and what this entails.

Other objectives of the audit activity included:

  • following up our comments from the audit in 2004
  • ensuring that the anchorage analyses are done in a prudent manner - (following several serious incidents on the Norwegian shelf in recent years)
  • verifying compliance with conditions stipulated for the approval of the plan for development and operations, linked to risk analyses of marine systems. It was also verified that this risk analysis will be considered together with handling of risk linked to anchorage, ballasting, closure mechanisms, stability, risers and green water

Result of the audit
The main impression subsequent to the audit activity is that Marathon works diligently to solve the challenges associated with the development.

We have pointed out nonconformities in relation to the regulations linked to the planned use of a tanker for loading operations from Alvheim with a DP (Dynamic Positioning) equipment classification that is too low, incorrect regulations for anchor analyses and deficient control of software.

We have also pointed out 12 improvement items linked to quality assurance, risk analyses, anchorage analyses, fatigue analyses, design of piles and wave heights.

Relevant quality assurance personnel at APL were not present during the audit.

One of the items commented on in the 2004 audit had not been corrected.

The report contains proven nonconformities, and we request an account of how the nonconformities will be handled. The report also includes observations of items with potential for improvement, and we ask for your evaluation of these circumstances on an item by item basis. We also ask that Marathon follow up quality assurance on the part of APL since this could not be accomplished during the audit as relevant APL personnel were not available.

The deadline for responding in relation to nonconformities and improvement items is set at 15 August 2005.

Contact in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Ole-Johan Faret
E-mail: ole-johan.faret@ptil.no