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Audit of qualification, project planning and production of flexible pipes for Gjøa

Audit: The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has conducted an audit of StatoilHydro’s compliance with regulations and specific project requirements established in connection with qualification, project planning and production/manufacturing of flexible pipes and risers for the Gjøa project. We did not identify any non-conformities.

The audit was conducted through meetings, talks and verification activities at the premises of the flexible pipe supplier, NKT Flexibles, on 30 March in Brøndby and 31 March in Kalundborg.

About Gjøa
Gjøa was proven in 1989, and is located about 40 kilometres north of the Fram field. The reservoir contains gas above a fairly thin oil zone

Operator for the development phase is Statoil, while Gaz de France will assume operational responsibility when the field enters the production phase. The development includes five seabed frames connected to a semi-submersible production and processing facility.

The oil will be exported through a new 55 kilometre long pipeline to be connected to the Troll Oil Pipeline II for onward transport to Mongstad.

Plans are for the gas to be exported through a new 130 kilometre pipeline to the FLAGS transport system on the British Shelf, for onward transport to St. Fergus. A PDO was submitted in December 2006.

Background for the audit
The PSA is to set standards for and ensure that the players in the petroleum activities maintain high standards as regards health, safety and the environment in order to reduce the risk of major accidents, undesirable incidents and work-related injuries and illness.

A key priority for our follow-up of HSE is to make sure the players manage the technical conditions of the facilities. This involves a need for follow-up during the manufacturing phase in order to uncover any weaknesses which may have consequences for the production phase.

Incidents related to risers often involve a high risk of major accidents, due to their location. We have seen a number of incidents where faults have not been discovered during the design phase. Based on this, we find it necessary to prioritise follow-up of qualification, project planning and the production/manufacturing of risers.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to assess StatoilHydro’s and NKT Flexibles’ compliance with regulations and internal requirements for the project, as drawn up in connection with qualification, project planning and the production/manufacturing of flexible risers for Gjøa.

The purpose was also to asses how StatoilHydro handles its supervisory responsibility towards NKT Flexibles, how competence and quality of the supplier and possible sub-contractors are followed up, as well as reviewing how StatoilHydro and NKT use positive and negative experience for training and improvements.

Result of the audit
Our main impression is that the compliance in regards to regulations and requirements for the project, drawn up in connection with the production/manufacturing of risers for Gjøa, is maintained in a satisfactory manner.

No non-conformities were identified during the audit, but three areas for improvements were uncovered. These areas relate to the operating time of the rises, work description and follow-up of non-conformities in the outer diameter and ovality.