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Audit of maritime systems on Njord A

During the period 24 - 27 May 2005, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of the maritime systems on Njord A. The general impression subsequent to the audit was positive.


Maritime systems mean systems related to stability - including ballast systems, weather and watertight integrity and structural integrity, as well as the mooring systems. During the audit the area of focus was on a follow-up of the maritime systems on Njord A during the operational phase.

Background for the audit

Njord ANjord A is a floating production facility with slack mooring. The maritime systems on such facilities are of great importance to the level of safety. Experiences with previous incidents, for instance the loss of P-36 on the Brazilian Continental Shelf, illustrate that the maritime systems on such facilities require a thorough follow-up and good maintenance during the operational phase.

Moreover, it is important for the integrity of the facility that the personnel who are in charge of the maritime systems and who handle the systems have an appropriate level of competence. In the interpretation of Section 19 of the Activities Regulations clear guidelines are given as to the level of competence that the authorities expect with regard to the personnel who actually operate the systems and the personnel who are responsible for the operation of the systems.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that Norsk Hydros' systems ensure that the maritime systems on Njord A are in such a condition that the required level of safety is maintained. The audit includes both technical and operational aspects.

Result of the audit

The audit was well facilitated by Hydro. The audit team was well received both in Kristiansund and on board Njord A.

The general impression subsequent to the audit is positive. The personnel on board seem to be well motivated and competent. Furthermore, the technical standard seemed to be good.

A maritime manager with the necessary qualifications pursuant to Section 19 of the Activities Regulations shall be in charge of the maritime systems on board. In the audit team's opinion, this is an important factor in order to ensure that the maritime systems are handled correctly and that they function as intended in an accident situation.

However, some observations were made in connection with both potential for improvement and nonconformities. One of the nonconformities was related to the emergency closure of a watertight door in the pontoon. These watertight doors can be critical elements in an accident situation.

Correction of the nonconformities commenced immediately after the nonconformity had been identified.

Contact person i the Petroleum Safety Authority
Mike Theiss