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Audit of Pertra - emergency preparedness exercise

On 28 June 2007, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Pertra AS (Pertra). The audit was related to implementation of the company's planned emergency preparedness exercise, and was carried out by means of observation in Pertra's emergency response center.

Pertra conducted the exercise as part of its preparations to conduct exploration drilling on production license 337, block 15/12, using the Mærsk Giant facility.

Background for the audit
Pursuant to the award letter from the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion (AID), the PSA is to set the standards for and follow up to ensure that the players in the petroleum industry maintain a high level of health, safety, environment and emergency preparedness, and thereby contribute to creating the greatest possible values for society at large.

The PSA shall also contribute to reducing the risk level in the petroleum activities by following up to ensure that the players facilitate technical and operational integrity and the interplay between people, technology and organization in HSE-critical systems.

Another performance measure for the PSA is to follow up to ensure that the players safeguard their responsibilities to manage the activities. Emergency preparedness makes up key parts of the technical, operational and organizational barrier elements, and safeguarding these properly is important for maintaining an acceptable risk level.

Purpose of the audit
The PSA wanted to verify that Pertra can handle a hazard and accident situation according to the prevailing emergency preparedness plans, its own performance requirements and the authorities' requirements and expectations; where second-line preparedness is managed by AGR Ability Group/ Drilling Production Technology (AGR/DPT) at Skøyen, while Pertra's third-line preparedness is located in Trondheim.

Result of the audit
Subsequent to the exercise, it is the PSA's general impression that Pertra handled the exercise's hazard and accident situation in accordance with the prevailing emergency preparedness plans, its own performance requirements as well as the authorities' requirements and expectations.

A realistic exercise scenario was set up which systematically led the emergency response organization through the five emergency preparedness phases.

During the exercise, Pertra focused on rescue of personnel and the well situation. These are sensible focus areas, in the opinion of the PSA.

The incident was a collision/contact between the supply vessel and the facility. In the PSA's opinion, Petra had little focus on this specific incident as regards the damage incurred by the vessel and the facility and the consequences of this damage. Nor were alternative scenarios considered, such as deliberate impact, although this was a vessel on a collision course and the weather was good.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Mike Theiss