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Audit of Oseberg C – HSE management of drilling and well activities

Audit: The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has conducted an audit of StatoilHydro’s (SH’s) management of health, safety and the environment in drilling and well activities on Oseberg C (OSC), on land and on the facility.


The audit began with a start-up and working meeting in the land organization on 13 October 2008 in SH’s offices at Sandsli with participants from the operator, drilling contractor and well service company. At the meeting an account was given of HSE status, management systems and topics otherwise referred to in the notification of audit of the OSC unit.

Oseberg C (source: StatoilHydro)

The audit was continued at Sandsli on 27-28 October 2008 and on the OSC facility (pictured) from 29 to 31 October 2008. We conducted interviews with relevant personnel and verifications of technical systems and governing documents.

Background for the audit
The reference framework for this audit was the main priorities of technical and operational integrity for lifetime extension together with the use of coordination solutions.

The background for the audit was to test the companies’ use of HSE tools during work execution. We wanted to observe the use of management tools in relation to equipment in the drilling area during execution of work plans and procedures.

Purpose of the audit
The PSA’s objective was to test the operator’s compliance with regulatory requirements, company guidelines and industry standards for the activities. It was thus an objective to test the quality level of the operator’s use of analysis methods, procedures and work program in connection with planning and execution of drilling and well activities.

The objective of the audit was also to appraise the suitability of using existing drilling and lifting equipment in future activities.

Audit items:

  • Job duties and reporting chain of command
  • Coordination solutions
  • Planning and meeting offshore
  • Work permit system, SJA and tool box meetings
  • Follow-up and reporting of incidents
  • Competence, manning and employee participation
  • Upgrading and future use of the drilling system
  • Maintenance of existing equipment in the drilling area
  • Crane and lifting equipment in the drilling and well area
  • Technical verification of equipment units

Result of the audit
During the audit we noted that there were good cooperation relations between the operator, drilling contractor and well service company both on land and on the facility.

The drilling equipment showed signs of wear and tear, and was only planned for short-term drilling campaigns until recently. SH has now identified a need for continuous drilling of new well targets and this has led to an upgrading project being implemented in the drilling area.

Four non-conformities and five improvement items were identified during the audit. These concerned incomplete risk assessments and the exercise of responsibility for decision-making during daily drilling and lifting activities.

These matters were observed during the exercise of sub-activities on the facility and through review of documentation completed by the land organization prior to the activities. We noted a similar challenge in the detailed operation plans for maintenance activities on the facility.

In relation to robustness and regularity of equipment in the drilling area, the coordination of technical solutions had not been sufficiently identified in the continuation of the project. This means that the effect and scope of the short-term changes in 2009 were not compared with the long-term upgrading project for the drilling and well area.

During the audit we also noted a lack of preparation related to specific equipment courses and training for the employees. We also identified a non-conformity related to participation in the upgrading project.